Dáil Éireann - Volume 644 - 18 December, 2007
Written Answers. - School Staffing.
Deputy Leo Varadkar Deputy Leo Varadkar
Deputy Leo Varadkar asked the Minister for Education and Science the number of school principals who have secretarial support with a breakdown by full-time and part-time support; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [35519/07]
Deputy Mary Hanafin Deputy Mary Hanafin
 Deputy Mary Hanafin: My Department provides funding towards the cost of secretarial services in primary and secondary schools under two separate schemes. One is the 1978 scheme for the employment of school secretaries in primary and secondary schools under which my Department meets the full cost of salary. The 1978 scheme is being phased out as posts become vacant and no new posts are being created.
The 1978 scheme has been superseded by a more extensive school support grant scheme towards the funding of ancillary services in schools including secretarial services. The scheme is flexible in nature giving Boards of Management and schools discretion as to the manner in which these services are provided. The terms and conditions of employment are matters for agreement between the employee and the authorities of each school. The Department does not stipulate any rules concerning how the secretarial services are to be obtained by schools. Accordingly the arrangements are suited to local needs and are not standard across the sector.
There have been significant improvements in recent years in the level of funding for voluntary secondary schools, and I am pleased to advise the Deputy that increases will continue to be applied in 2008. As I announced recently, with effect from 1 January 2008, the standard per capita grant will increase by €15 per pupil to a total of €331 per pupil. In addition, voluntary secondary schools will benefit by an increase of €15 per pupil in 2008 in the support services grant, bringing that grant to €204 per pupil.
The total increase of €30 per pupil in a voluntary secondary school will bring the aggregate grant to €535 per pupil. The Deputy should be aware that these grants are in addition to the per capita funding, of up to €40,000 per school, that is also provided by my Department to secondary schools towards secretarial and caretaking services. Accordingly, in the case of a secondary school with 500 pupils, the annual grants towards general expenses and support service will be more than €300,000 in 2008. This represents an increase of 92% approximately since 2000.
At primary level, the basic rate of capitation will be increased by €15 per pupil to a level of €178.58 per pupil from 1 January 2008. The ancillary services grant will also be increased by €6 to €151.50 per pupil. Taken together, these increases mean that primary schools eligible for the full ancillary services grant will get €21 extra per pupil to cover their day to day running costs in 2008, with a primary school of 300 pupils getting €6,300 extra. In fact, this 300 pupil school will get over €97,000 from my Department in 2008 to meet such costs.
The provision that I have made, in the context of the 2008 estimates, for these significant increases in the funding of primary and voluntary secondary schools is a clear demonstration of my  commitment to prioritise available resources to address the needs of schools.
Dáil Éireann 644 Written Answers. School Staffing.