Laois TD says schools under huge pressure due to Government cuts

Ryan Dunne

Reporter:

Ryan Dunne

Brian Stanley

Brian Stanley TD.

The Government cuts to school grants need to be reversed, said Laois TD Brian Stanley, as schools are having to run on a grant of just 92 cent a day per pupil.

“This grant provides €170 per primary school pupil. This has been cut from €200 per pupil in past, despite the fact that costs of running schools has gone up. The grant needs now to be restored,” said Deputy Stanley.

He said he had raised a question with the Minister for Education asking him to review and restore the grant, as the the massive cuts are having a huge impact on schools and their pupils and are at a level where it is not sustainable.

“While costs go up, support from the state goes down. Schools are forced now to run on a grant that gives 92 cent a day per pupil. This is putting huge pressure on teachers and parents across Laois and Offaly,” he said.

“Schools are required to look for contributions from parents, which puts pressure on households and particularly hits low income households across. Every year parents and local communities give €46m to support their local schools. To make up the shortfall and fill the gap in funding, parents councils are forced to run cake sales, table quizzes and raffles. This is in a state that is meant to provide free primary education.”

Deputy Stanley said that the State Capitation Grant needs to provide for the actual running costs of a school and there needs also to be a commitment from the Government to pay minor works grant every year.

“I am urging the government to address these issues in the budget in October,” Deputy Stanley concluded.