Local Fianna Fáil TD John Curran has said that local schools in his area of Dublin Mid-West are running at significant deficits and vulnerable children from areas of significant economic disadvantage are the ones who are suffering.
Speaking in the Dáil on the issue, Deputy Curran said; “I recently visited two DEIS schools in my local area, both of which have just over 200 pupils and therefore receive annual capitation fees of approximately €35,000.
This is the only funding that is available for each school’s operational budget, from which the cost of lighting, heating, insurance and cleaning, etc., has to be deducted. After speaking with two local principals on this issue, they have informed me that €20,000 of this €35k budget can go on cleaning, while a further €20,000 on electricity and insurance costs.
As both of these DEIS schools are located in areas of significant economic disadvantage, they do not have the capacity to raise funds to meet the significant deficits at which they are running, nor do they receive Voluntary Contributions compared to other schools.
Page 90 of the programme for Government, contains a commitment to “set out capitation rates to schools on a rolling 3-year basis”, therefore, I am calling on the Government to review the adequacy of the capitation fee and to consider the Capitation rate per head being proportionate with the number of pupils in the school, particularly in DEIS schools and to consider an enhanced fee for such schools,” concluded Deputy Curran.