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Budget 2018 Education Update

Posted by SchoolDays Newshound, on 10/10/2017. Budget 2018 Education UpdateTags: Education And Politics Teachers Parenting

Education spending within the Budget of €10 billion represents 16.6% of total spending and an incease of €554 million on last year's budget allocation

Here is a summary of Budget 2018 released today as it impacts on the Education Sector:  

1,300 teaching posts next year  to reduce the primary pupil-teacher ratio to 26:1. This figure includes:

  • 545 new teaching posts to cater for an estimated 8000 extra pupils in 2018
  • 305 posts to provide for a reduction in the primary staffing schedule from 27:1 to 26:1
  • 230 new teachers in special classes and special schools 
  • 100 new Special Education teachers
  • 100 teaching posts for guidance

    Additional key meausres include

  • 10 NEPS psychologists will be recruited in 2018.

  • €1.7 billion to be invested in special education

  • 1,091 new Special Needs Assistants being recruited before September 2018.

  • An additional €20m allocation in 2018 to support a range of childcare measures "including, from September 2018, further development of the extended free Pre-School programme, ensuring entitlement to a full two-year service".

    Extract from Department of Education Press Release below with more details on budget

    New initiatives: A further €5.5 million will be allocated to provide support for a range of new policy measures including implementation of the forthcoming foreign languages strategy, STEM education policy, digital learning strategy and the Government’s Creative Ireland initiative.

    Focus on wellbeing: Ensuring the wellbeing of students is a key priority of government. The equivalent of 100 additional guidance posts will be provided in September 2018. This will mean that 500 guidance posts will have been restored (out of 600 which were previously cut). These posts will be allocated separately and transparently and outside of the quota on the schedule of posts. 10 new NEPS psychologists will be hired in 2018

    Further and higher education: additional provision of €64.5 million will be allocated to higher and further education and training in 2018, including €47.5 million from an increase in the National Training Fund levy. In total, investment in higher and further education will be €100 million higher in 2018 than in 2016 (€53.5m in increased exchequer funding - including Budget 2017 carryover measures and the additional €17 million in 2018 - and €47.5m from an increase in the NTF levy). The increase in the NTF levy follows on from a public consultation which was announced by Minister Bruton and Minister Donohoe earlier this year. In total, in the period 2017-2018 over €137 million in additional funding will be invested in higher and further education.
    Curricular reform: Budget 2018 makes provision to support our curricular reform programme, including the roll out of Junior Cycle Reform with Irish, visual art, modern foreign languages (French, German, Spanish, Italian) commencing in September 2018. €13 million of new and reallocated funding will be provided to deliver continued implementation of Junior Cycle reform, delivery of a range of other curriculum reforms in areas such as primary language, politics & society, agricultural science, applied maths, physical education, computer science and science.  

    Tackling educational disadvantage: Further provision is being made to continue the implementation of the Action Plan to tackle educational disadvantage.

    Speech and Language: €2 million will be provided to initiate a pilot in-school speech and language therapy programme, as committed to in the Programme for Government. This new programme, which will be announced shortly will see children being able to access in-school speech and language services.

    School leadership: Building on measures in previous budgets to enhance school leadership, this Budget will make €0.4 million available to fund additional release days for teaching principals in primary schools, which allows them to undertake administrative, leadership and management functions within the school.

    Innovation: Innovation in schools will be promoted through the development of DEIS and digital clusters, which will encourage schools to work together and promote innovation.

    Gaeltacht education: Over €1million will also be allocated to continued implementation of the Policy on Gaeltacht Education.

    Capital: Following the Capital Review, additional capital funding of €663 million has been allocated to the education sector over the period 2018-2021.  €28 million of this is available in 2018.

     Lansdowne Road Agreement – An additional €65 million will be provided under the extension to the Lansdowne Road Agreement in 2018. This will see a new teacher, straight out of college, start on €35,958 from the 1st of January 2018. In October 2020 a new teacher, straight out of college, will start on €37,692. The gross cost of the Haddington Road Agreement, Lansdowne Road Agreement and the Public Service Stability Agreement 2018-2020 in the education and training sector in 2018 will be €236 million.

    Full Press Release available here 



    (10/10/2017 15:15)

    Press Release from ASTI Responding to Budget

    Budget 2018 does nothing for over-crowded classes at second-level

    There is little positive news in Budget 2018 for Ireland’s 350,000 plus second-level students, many of whom experience unacceptably large class sizes.

    Commenting on today’s Budget, ASTI General Secretary, Kieran Christie, said:

    “Given the sustained economic growth over the past few years, it is unacceptable that the pupil-teacher ratio at second level remains higher than it was this time 10 years ago.

    “In 2007, research found over-crowded classes in second-level schools to be a significant issue. Despite this the pupil-teacher ratio was worsened in Budget 2009. This has resulted in even larger classes. The cuts introduced during the recession must be reversed as a matter of urgency.”

    Guidance counselling posts

    “While we welcome the additional guidance counselling posts, we note that these merely represent another step towards the restoration of schools’ 2011 guidance counselling provision, which was cut in 2012,” said Kieran Christie.

    ASTI President Ger Curtin said second-level schools will be surprised that Budget 2018 does nothing to address the shortfall in funding for day-to-day running costs:

    “Spending on second-level education in Ireland as a percentage of GDP is below the OCED average. Only last month, the OECD report Education at a Glance actually stated that spending on education in Ireland needs to rise. In this context, schools had rightly expected to see an increase in their funding.”

    The ASTI President added that the union is disappointed that the restoration of middle management posts in second-level schools, which was announced in last year’s Budget, has come to a halt.

    Stephen Mungovan

    (11/10/2017 21:59)

    The Government failed to tackle the issues with the susi grant payment where 1km is receiving the same rate as 44km and the disparity in payments between someone living 44km or a student 46km away who receives 4000 more. For living, 2km further down the road at the top rate of special rate maintenance grant the poorest third level students in the country something needs to be done this system should be overhauled and incremental payment based on 10km blocks need to be introduced.

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