Capitation funding is intended to contribute towards the cost of heating, lighting, cleaning, insurance, general up-keep etc. Capitation funding provided to schools, including enhanced capitation grants for special classes, may be regarded as a common grant which the Board of Management can allocate according to its own priorities.
My Department recognises the need to improve capitation funding for schools. Capitation grants are the main funding mechanism for schools to enable them meet their day to day running costs.
Budget 2019 provided for a 5% increase in Capitation funding for primary and post primary schools which 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 my intention to seek additional funding for capitation in forthcoming Budgets.
The full range of capitation grants, including post primary special class grants, are among the many grants being considered as part of the Budget 2020 process.
It should be noted that it is extremely difficult to make valid comparisons between the levels of grants paid and the actual costs of running schools at primary and post primary levels. Primary ASD special classes receive an enhanced capitation grant of €849 per student enrolled inclusive of the mainstream capitation rate (currently €179 per student). Post Primary ASD special classes do not receive enhanced capitation. However, the Post Primary mainstream capitation rate is €309 per student.