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Ancillary Services Grants

This grant is a scheme to provide additional capitation grants for secretarial and caretaking services.

1. Introduction

The purpose of this circular is to outline the increased grant levels that apply, with effect from 1st January 2007, in relation to the scheme of additional capitation grants for secretarial and caretaking services.

2. Secretarial and Caretaking (Ancillary Services) Grant for Primary schools

Rates applicable under this scheme, effective from 1st January 2007 to €145.50 per pupil. The effect of this is that the minimum grant that will apply for the calendar year 2007 has been increased to €8,730 while the maximum grant increased to €72,750.

The grant due is lodged directly to your school's bank account.

3. Position of schools who already have secretarial or caretaking services under 1978/1979 schemes

The grant, referred to in paragraph 2 above, is intended to assist those schools that have not been provided with secretarial or caretaking assistance under the 1978/1979 schemes, under which certain schools receive the benefit of a full time secretary or caretaker whose salary is fully funded by the Department.

Where schools are already benefiting from the services of a fulltime secretary and/or caretaker under the 1978/1979 schemes, they will not be entitled to receive grant assistance under the Ancillary Services Grant scheme in respect of that service.

However, if a school has a full time secretary under the 1978/1979 schemes, but has no caretaker under those schemes (or vice versa), the school is entitled to receive additional grant assistance in respect of caretaking or secretarial services only as appropriate. The schools concerned received a payment of €72.75 per pupil (the corresponding minimum grant being €4,365 and the maximum being €36,375) in March 2007.

4. Employment Issues

As outlined in Circular 21/01, the Ancillary Services grant programme provides grants to schools that are not directly linked to any objective pay scales. Therefore the level and extent of services provided is a matter for the school authorities who, through the discretion afforded by the scheme, apply diverse arrangements for secretarial and caretaking services as resources permit. As the secretaries and caretakers are employees of individual schools, this Department does not have any role in determining the pay and conditions under which they are engaged. These are matters to be agreed between the staff concerned and the school authorities.

Any queries that a school may have in relation to employment legislation should be addressed to the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment at 01 – 6312121 (Lo call 1890 22 02 22) or

Furthermore, the Department does not stipulate any rules concerning how secretarial or caretaking services are to be obtained by the school. It is a matter for the individual school to decide how best to apply the funding to suit the school's particular needs. In this regard it should be noted that the grant aid may be used by a school to provide both secretarial and caretaking services or, if a school so wishes, it may decide to use the grant aid in its entirety in respect of one service only.

5. Tax and Social Welfare position of school employees

Schools are reminded that it is a matter for the schools themselves to ensure that they are registered with the Revenue Commissioners as employers and that appropriate deductions are made with regard to Tax and PRSI for those people employed by them to carry out secretarial or caretaking duties.

A Revenue Guide to PAYE/PRSI for Small Employers is available from the Revenue Commissioners and can be obtained by phoning the Revenue Forms and Leaflets Service at (01) 8780100 (Lo call 1890 30 67 06), from any tax office or from Revenue's Internet site at However it is recommended that contact should also be made with your local tax office.

6. Clustering of schools

In certain areas it may be that schools would wish to cluster with other schools in their locality and use the grant money received by all those schools to employ a person or persons who could undertake secretarial, caretaking or other ancillary work on behalf of all schools in the cluster. The Department would have no difficulty with schools adopting such an approach and it is a matter for schools, in consultation with neighbouring schools, to decide if such a policy is feasible in their own particular circumstances.

Circular 0031/2007 (doc, 38 kb)
Improvements to the Ancillary Services Grant (Secretarial and Caretaking Services)
March 2007