Prior to the pandemic and the current cost of living crisis, schools were already struggling to meet basic expenditure. A pre-pandemic survey from the Catholic Primary School Management Association found schools independently raised €46 million to keep their doors open.
Primary schools receive a capitation grant of €1 per pupil per school day to cover running costs. Second-level schools receive almost double that amount.
OECD figures show Ireland spends on average 20% less per student at primary level than other developed countries.
In Budget 2023, the INTO is calling for a significant increase in the school capitation grant to better fund schools and reduce the burden on parents who have to give additional financial support.
The estimated annual cost of a 20% increase in the capitation grant for primary and special schools would total €20 million. The estimate for September to December 2023 would be is €6.9 million.