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Capitation Grants

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 16 April 2019

Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Questions (160)

Kathleen Funchion


160. Deputy Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Education and Skills the estimated cost to restore the standard capitation rate for pupils in primary schools to €200 which was the rate in 2010 prior to cuts; and his views on whether this is a diminishing cost in view of the falling enrolments in primary schools. [17204/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

I fully recognise the need to improve capitation funding for schools.

I am pleased to have been able to provide for a 5% increase in capitation funding for primary and post primary schools that will apply from the start of the 2019/20 school year. Over the course of the school year 2019/20, an additional €10 million will be allocated to primary and post primary schools, of which €4 million will be allocated in 2019.

While this increase represents the beginning of the process of restoration, annual funding would need to be increased by a further €25.5m approximately to restore grants to pre-2011 levels.  This would cost circa €12.5m at Primary level and €13m at Post-Primary level based on current enrolments.

However, as the Deputy is aware, while Primary enrolments are expected to peak in the 2018/19 school year those at second level are increasing. By 2024/25 these enrolments are expected to be in excess of 402,176 for the first time in the history of the State.

Therefore I must be prudent in the context of increasing enrolments and ongoing budgetary pressures and I have to prioritise where it is not possible to do everything that I would like to do in the Education Sector in any one year.

It is my intention to seek funding for further capitation increases in future budgets.