Dáil Éireann - Volume 535 - 02 May, 2001

Written Answers - Schools Funding.

253. Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Education and Science the current position in regard to the funding of second level schools; if he has received a request for equalisation of financial supports; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12562/01]

254. Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Education and Science if he proposes an equalisation of the structures in regard to the various types of second level schools; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12563/01]

Minister for Education and Science (Dr. Woods): I propose to take Questions Nos. 253 and 254 together.

I am aware of requests by voluntary secondary schools for increased funding. As the Deputy is aware, the funding arrangements for our schools have evolved in a manner that reflects the differ[867] ent traditions and structures of the voluntary secondary, comprehensive and community and VEC sectors.

I consider that the Blackstock report represents a comprehensive review of the funding arrangements of postprimary schools and is a valuable document in both its analysis and clarity of approach. The recommendations made in the report for the future funding arrangements of second level schools are under continuing review. 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.

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.

Although my priority is to focus on the issue of adequacy of funding, I am conscious of the traditional anomalies that have evolved in the funding arrangements for the different school types at second level, and I am committed to bringing greater equity and cohesion to this aspect of the funding of schools in the light of available resources.