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School Funding 30/03/16

Primary teachers slam inadequate school funding

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Press Release
Irish National Teachers’ Organisation
Annual Congress

Primary teachers slam inadequate school funding

At the INTO Congress in Wexford today primary teachers demanded increases in day to day funding for the upkeep of school buildings and the maintenance of computers in schools. Delegates told how schools are kept running on cake sales, raffles and sponsored walks.

Maria Gildea from Dublin told delegates that the current model of school funding is failing primary schools and pupils and in particular special needs pupils. She called for an end to the introduction of unfunded initiatives being introduced in schools. She said funding for day to day running costs was just over 90c per pupil per day which she described as ridiculous.

Adrianne Nolan said government funding wasn’t enough to heat school buildings. She told how children in classrooms asked to sit beside the radiators or kept their coats on until lunchtime because of the cold. She said the description of some schools as hovels was accurate.

John Boyle member of the union’s executive member said primary schools were the Cinderella of the education system when it comes to funding. He called for primary schools to be funded the same as second level schools.

Government funding for primary schools is €170 per pupil per year compared to over 300 at second level.

Government cuts in capitation funding of 15 per cent in recent years means more and more schools are turning to parents by way of fundraising and voluntary contributions as school management boards try to make up the decrease in funding.

Una Ni Rian from Dublin said schools should be exempted from paying VAT on purchases. This she said would give an immediate 23 per cent increase in funding to schools.

Brendan Horan invited delegates to a cookery demonstration in his school in Cahir. He said this was just one activity the Board in his school had to do to balance the books. He said when it came to funding the state put higher value on cattle than children and that more and more schools were forced to ask parents for more and more money.

Kathryn Crowley from Dublin said principals were having sleepless nights because of the pressures of fundraising. She said schools were “tired of baking rice crispie buns and selling them to ourselves.”

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