Dáil Éireann - Volume 523 - 11 October, 2000
Written Answers. - Schools Funding.
Mr. Sargent Mr. Sargent
280. Mr. Sargent asked the Minister for Education and Science the measures which have been taken to implement the recommendations of the Department's report, Funding of Second-Level Schools. [21530/00]
Dr. Woods Dr. Woods
Minister for Education and Science (Dr. Woods): The Deputy will be aware that I have previously welcomed the report, which represents a comprehensive review of the funding provisions for second level schools and I have commended the group for the clarity of its approach and the quality of the analysis undertaken.
At the core of the recommendations made for future funding arrangements are the principles of equity of treatment, transparency of funding structures and adequacy of funding levels. The Deputy will be aware of the historical anomalies that have evolved in the funding arrangements for the different school types at second level. While further work is required to bring greater uniformity and cohesion to this aspect of the funding of schools, my priority is to focus on the issue of adequacy of funding.
In this connection I would draw the attention of the Deputy to my recent announcement of the introduction of a school services support fund at second level from September of this year. My approach in establishing this fund is to address deficiencies in the existing funding structures. Schools will now receive additional annual funding of £20 per pupil with a minimum payment of £4,000 per school. This fund will channel an additional £7 million to schools each year. While provision for support services, including secretarial and caretaking, is a particular focus of this fund, schools are being given discretion in line with that available in relation to per capita grants as to how this additional funding is best utilised in the interests of their pupils.
I am fully committed to an equitable and fair funding regime for second level schools and I will continue to prioritise available resources to address the needs of schools.
Dáil Éireann 523 Written Answers. Schools Funding.