Educate Together’s capitation grants
Currently the Department of Education (DES) pays the patron of a new school a pre-opening capitation grant to cover the costs of setting up the school. It is currently set at €15,000 per new primary and €25,000 per new secondary school.
This grant is inadequate. The average costs to Educate Together for opening a new primary school is €62,000 and a new second-level school is €102,000. The length of time and related costs vary as a result of location and the level of difficulty in securing a permanent building for the school.
Educate Together is calling on the Department of Education to triple the level of the grants to patrons to €45,000 and €75,000 respectively and to agree that Educate Together may invoice the Department for its costs in excess of these figures in relation to its work on the provision of school buildings.
Educate Together’s core management body grant
Currently Educate Together’s core management body grant is set at €133,000. In 2006 Educate Together received a core grant of €144,000 to support a network of 41 primary schools, with 7,500 pupils in attendance. Instead of increasing in proportion to the size of the network served, this grant was reduced to its current level in 2008, and has not been increased since. In 2020 Educate Together received a core grant of €133,000 to support a network of 109 schools, with 30,823 pupils in attendance. This means that effectively the grant is only 22% of its 2006 level — from €19.20 per pupil in 2006 to €4.31 per pupil today.
As the continued growth and development of the Educate Together network indicates, Educate Together has a strong track record of maximising voluntary and community initiative, and making efficient use of limited resources to meet the growing demand for its schools. However, no organisation can continue to provide quality services with reductions in funding of this order, especially at a time when the demands on school boards of management, school management bodies and patrons are continually increasing.
Educate Together is calling for the level of Educate Together’s core grant be urgently reviewed, and brought into line with the costs of representing and supporting a school network of this size.