INTO calls for equal funding for primary schools

At INTO Congress in Galway today, primary teachers demanded equal funding between primary and second level schools.

Irish primary schools receive significantly less funding than second and third level institutions. Primary schools get 92 cent per pupil per day to cover their running costs. Second-level schools get almost double that amount. Overall, for every €8 spent on primary schools, €11 is spent at second level and €15 at third level. The Standard Capitation Grant per pupil has dropped from €200 in 2010 to €170 in contrast to the current figure of €296 at
post-primary level.

Teacher Andrew Bowen told delegates about his school’s use of technology to enhance teaching and learning but said, “we need adequate funding for the purchase and ongoing maintenance of these technologies.”

Also speaking in favour of the motion, Teacher Michael McConigley said, “It is an embarrassment that funding for primary schools does not meet the basic needs. Headaches over rising light, heat and electricity costs distract our leaders from their primary function, to lead teaching and learning.”

While there was a modest restoration in the recent budget, the Government’s increase in school funding of 5% will have no noticeable impact on the crisis in school funding facing schools around the country.

The Minister’s announcement in Budget 2019 confirming that the Minor Works grant of €29m will be paid in December or early January every year for the coming years will enable schools to better manage minor work projects such as school maintenance, however the funding disparity is grossly unfair and damaging to children’s long-term prospects.