Dáil Éireann - Volume 546 - 12 December, 2001
Written Answers. - School Services Staff.
Mr. Timmins Mr. Timmins
138. Mr. Timmins asked the Minister for Education and Science the position regarding FÁS and community employment schemes coming to an end at a school (details supplied) in County Wicklow; the way in which the shortfall will be made up; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31976/01]
Dr. Woods Dr. Woods
Minister for Education and Science (Dr. Woods): Responsibility for the operation of community employment schemes in schools lies with FÁS. In line with a PPF commitment to mainstream certain essential services provided under CE, I recently secured the transfer of £46 million or 58,407,951 per annum to my Department on a phased basis between now and 2003 as the FÁS school based CE schemes comes to an end. The availability of this funding has enabled me to make significant progress in relation to the provision of secretarial and caretaking services to schools by putting in place an equitable system of funding for ancillary services throughout the free  education school system. My Department will receive a total of £32 million or 40,631,618 in this school year.
At second level, the extra funding will be allocated to schools under the school services support fund that I introduced last year. With immediate effect, the grant will be increased from £20 or 25.40 per pupil to £50 or 63.49 per pupil per annum, with a further increase to £70 or 88.88 per pupil next September and to £78 or 99.04 per pupil in January 2003. While provision for support services, including secretarial and caretaking, is a particular focus of this fund, schools have 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. These increases are in addition to the provision made to schools for secretaries and caretakers under separate schemes.
The minimum annual grant under the services support fund for schools with 200 pupils or fewer will increase from £4,000 or 5,078.96 to £15,600 or 19,807.91 per year; while schools with 500 pupils or more will rise from £10,000 or 12,697.38 to £39,000 or 49,519.79 over this school year and the next. In the case of second level schools receiving grants of £55 or 69.84 per pupil for secretaries and caretakers, up to a maximum of £19,250 or 24,442.46 per school, the annual grant of £78 or 99.04 under the services support fund will bring the combined total for a 500 pupil school to £58,250 or 73,962.24 per year.
My Department has issued circulars to all second level schools outlining details of the new funding arrangements. It is intended that payments will issue to schools shortly.
I have also announced that I am immediately appointing consultants to examine and advise on transitional arrangements that may affect some schools during the process of the withdrawal of CE schemes. I am setting aside £2 million or 2,539,476 to respond to the recommendations of the consultants.
Dáil Éireann 546 Written Answers. School Services Staff.