Budget 2018 – Education
10th Oct 2017
Catholic Primary Schools’ Management Association
Catholic Primary Schools’ Management Association welcomes the reduction of the pupil/teacher ratio in Budget 2018 and the increase in the provision of SNAs. The reduction in the ratio is of particular benefit to smaller schools. The State’s commitment to the integration of children with special needs into mainstream schools has lagged behind the State’s willingness to provide adequate funding for same. This is a move in the right direction.
Speaking in response to Budget 2018, Seamus Mulconry, General Secretary of CPSMA said, “I welcome the reduction in the pupil/teacher ratio. Those working in the primary school sector are acutely aware of the current shortages of suitable qualified teachers. Many schools are struggling to fill positions or to secure substitute teachers. It will be interesting to see what measures Minister Bruton takes to tackle this issue.”
CPSMA is disappointed that the government has decided not to restore the capitation grant to primary schools. Seamus Mulconry said, “The government’s failure to restore the capitation grant means that many hard-pressed parents will continue to face pressure to pay contributions to their children’s education. Schools are engaged in fundraising to pay for essentials – art supplies, photocopying, and light and heat and this activity, largely led by principals, absorbs the energy of school leadership that should rightfully be spent on educational excellence. It is disappointing that Minister Bruton did not prioritise the restoration of adequate funding for primary schools.
“Essentially, in response to rising costs, the government has chosen to, once again, short-change our primary schools.”