Thursday, 11 July 2019

Questions (264)

Róisín Shortall

Question:

264. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number and proportion of schools rewarded with extra capitation grants arising from compliance with circular 0032/2017. [30780/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

My Department has published measures to be adopted by schools to reduce the cost of school uniforms and other costs,  in consultation with parents, in circular  32/2017. This includes principles of cost-effective practices to be adopted, including generic rather than branded items, use of sew-on or iron-on crests,  and all elements of a uniform being available from various stores.

While the circular provided, as resources permit, to reward schools that can provide evidence of having adopted the principles of cost-effective practice, my Department recognises the need to improve capitation funding for all schools. To this end, in 2019, my Department has provided 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.

It is important that schools consult with parents and the school community, and the  Education (Student and Parent Charter) Bill 2019 will require each school to implement a Student and Parent Charter in accordance with national guidelines to be published by the Minister after consultation with the education partners, including the recognised national associations of parents.  One of the key concepts in the Bill is the need for schools to seek to reduce the costs to parents as far as is practicable.

Subject to Government approval, I intend to publish the Education (Student and Parent Charter) Bill in the Autumn.