Teachers slam insufficient school funding 18/04/17
Teachers slam insufficient school funding
Tuesday, 18 April 2017
Irish National Teachers’ Organisation
INTO Congress 2017 in Belfast
At the INTO annual congress in Belfast today, primary teachers condemned the lack of adequate funding to primary schools and the failure of the government to restore any of the cuts made to funding over the past five years. Delegates demanded that the primary school capitation grant be increased in line with capitation grants at second level.
Government funding for the day to day running of primary schools is €170 per pupil per year compared to over €300 at second level. The current level of capitation grants does not cover the basic running costs of primary schools. Government cuts to capitation grants of 15 per cent in recent years means schools have to rely on fundraising and voluntary contributions as school management boards to try to make up the shortfall.
Delegates also called for a nationwide campaign to raise awareness of the impact of these cuts and to highlight the importance of increased state funding in primary education to build the intrinsic, solid foundation for subsequent stages of education.
Karen Gerard from Drogheda told the conference that running a school was an expensive business. Outlining the cost of maintaining computers in her school she said that, this year, they had spent 1,200 euro and that the money received this year would not be sufficient to meet their needs.
In an entertaining contribution to the discussion Kathryn Crowley a principal in Dublin outlined an alphabetical list of school fundraising activities beginning with art auction through bring and buy sales to zany dress up day. She urged the minister to fund schools properly and let teachers focus on teaching and learning.