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How Budget 2014 impacts on the Education Sector


Posted by SchoolDays Newshound on 15/10/2013. Tags: Education And Politics

text re imageSome summary points from today's Budget

* A further €5m is to be allocated to extend the reach of the books rental scheems in primary schools. These funds will be paid to schools in the form of a seed capital grant, with DEIS schools receiving €150 per child and €100 per child in non-DEIS schools, to set up book rental schemes.

* Funding will be provided to allow for the recruitment of 1,250 resource and classroom teachers next year.

* No increase in either primary or secondary school class sizes.

Detail below from Dept of Education Statement:

SCHOOLBOOK RENTAL SCHEMES
The expenditure allocation will provide €5 million to fund an overall 3 year investment of €15 million to support the further extension of book rental schemes to cover all primary schools. €9 million of funding is being provided to support rollout in 2014 of the National Literacy and Numeracy Strategy, while €4.8 million will be provided for Junior Cycle reform. All second level schools will have high-speed broadband connectivity before the end of 2014.

SCHOOLS

DEIS schools
Schools participating in DEIS (Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools) (DEIS) are protected in this Budget. There have been no changes to DEIS Programme teacher allocation ratios or DEIS grants to schools as a result of this Budget.
Special Education
Priority will continue to be accorded to special education. Funding for such provision of some €1.3 billion is being maintained in 2014. This includes a further €33 million to fund the education of children with special education needs in schools. The allocation for special needs represents in excess of 15% of the gross overall current allocation for education and training.

BUDGET MEASURES
The measures listed below will secure net current expenditure savings in 2014 of €33 million. A further €11 million will be secured by way of estimating savings across the Education and Skills Vote.

HIGHER EDUCATION
Reduce allocation to higher education institutions (HEIs) in 2013
In Budget 2013 the funding allocation to the HEIs was reduced by €25 million, with the institutions expected to manage this reduction and deliver the same level of student services through the use of existing cash reserves held by them. As a result of Budget 2014 this reduction of €25 million will be continued for a further year, again taking account of the cash balances held by HEIs.

FURTHER EDUCATION & TRAINING
Ending concurrent payments to recipients of certain social protection payments who take up FAS and Youthreach courses.
In some instances participants on FAS training courses can retain social protection payments paid by the Department of Social Protection, as well as receiving their €188 FAS and Youthreach training allowance. These concurrent payments, which are not payable to participants in Community Employment or VTOS schemes, are now being ended for new entrants to FAS and Youthreach training courses. This measure will yield €5 million in savings in 2014.

Abolition of €20 long-term unemployment bonus paid to FAS, VTOS and Youthreach participants.
The payment of this allowance goes back to a time of full employment when there was a concern to incentivise the long-term unemployed to engage with labour market activation efforts. This payment will end for new entrants and
will save €2.1 million in 2014 and €6.7 million in a full year. However, course participants will continue to receive meal and travel allowances.

FAS apprentices to pay a pro-rata Student Contribution proportionate to the time they spend in Institutes of Technology

Apprentices attend IOTs for two ten-week periods during their four-year apprenticeships. The pro-rata student contribution (currently €540) in respect of each period spent in the IOTs, paid up to now by the Exchequer, will from 2014 be paid by the apprentices themselves, yielding an annual Exchequer saving of €1.6 million.

Alignment of certain Further Education and Training Allowances
Changes being introduced by the Department of Social Protection mean that new claimants of Jobseekers Allowance aged 25 years will from 2014 receive a reduced maximum payment of €144 per week, increased to €160 where a person participates in certain education and training programmes. To align social protection payments with payments made to participants in further education and training, such persons who enrol in VTOS, Youthreach and FAS training schemes will from 2014 also receive this €160 rate.

TEACHER NUMBERS
Provision is made in the 2014 estimates for increases in teacher numbers due to demographics, as well as for increases in resource teacher numbers to maintain individual resource teacher allocations at existing levels. The table below shows the projected impact next year of these increases in numbers, net of reductions for the application of earlier budget measures. The net overall increase in teaching posts for the 2014/15 school year compared to the current school year is estimated to be of the order of 1,395 posts, as shown in the above table. This represents an estimated net increase of about 2.2% on overall teacher numbers for the 2014/15 school year compared to the current 2013/14 school year.

Estimated position on Teacher numbers in schools for 2014/15 school year
Primary sector (posts) Second level sector (posts) Total posts
Target savings from previous budget measures (small schools and language support) -155 0 -155
Estimated additional posts to cater for increased demographics and provision for additional resource teachers +1,050 +500 +1,550
Estimated Net change in overall number of posts +895 +500 +1,395

PREVIOUS BUDGET MEASURES IMPACTING IN 2014
The allocation for 2014 also takes account of savings deriving from savings measures announced in previous Budgets. These measures are summarised below.

Teachers
Teacher allocation measures introduced in earlier Budgets will also impact on teacher numbers in schools in 2014. These include the changes in Budget 2012 announced to the staffing schedules for smaller primary schools with up to 4 teachers. This change will have a target yield of approximately 75 posts in 2014. A further 80 primary posts will be yielded on foot of the Budget 2011 decision to reduce language support posts over a 4-year period.

Student contribution
As signalled in Budget 2013 the student contribution, at €2,500 for the 2013/14 academic year will rise by a further €250 in each of the 2014/15 and 2015/16 academic years, to a maximum of €3,000. This will raise €18.5 million next year and €37 million in 2015. All students who are eligible for student grants will continue to have the student contribution paid on their behalf. At present two out of five students are in receipt of some form of student grant. The rates of maintenance grants are being protected in this Budget.

Capitation grants
On foot of school funding measures introduced in Budget 2012, funding for capitation and related grants to primary and post-primary schools in 2014 will be reduced by 1%. The overall saving will be achieved by a reduction in the standard capitation rates, with other related grant rates remaining unchanged. The new standard mainstream capitation rates in 2014 will be €173 for primary and €301 for post-primary.
Capitation rates in Youthreach, VTOS and PLC colleges are also being reduced by 1%, while higher education institutions will see reductions in core-pay and non-pay funding of 1%.

CAPITAL EXPENDITURE ALLOCATION
The capital allocation of €540 million will be principally deployed in the ongoing delivery of the Department’s five year school building programme (2012 to 2016), which involves 275 major school building projects and an additional 80,000 school places to meet demographic demands. The 2014 allocation also includes an additional €65 million to meet the costs of projects announced under Government’s stimulus initiatives of July 2012 and June 2013, including upfront enabling works for the development of the new DIT campus at Grangegorman and 28 additional school building projects.

Source - view full Department of Education Statement


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