Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Questions (260)

Thomas Byrne

Question:

260. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Education and Skills if an analysis has been conducted of the prevalence of voluntary contributions to schools by county; if so, if the analysis will be published; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18451/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

Voluntary contributions by parents are permissible provided it is made absolutely clear to parents that there is no question of compulsion to pay and that, in making a contribution, they are doing so of their own volition.

The manner in which voluntary contributions are sought and collected is a matter for school management, however their collection should be such as not to create a situation where either parents or pupils could reasonably infer that the contributions take on a compulsory character.

The most effective way to deal with this particular issue is to require all schools to provide full transparency in relation to the use of any voluntary contributions collected. It is intended that the Parent and Student Charter will require every school to set out a financial statement, which will include information on how any voluntary contributions are used.