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Budget 2019 Education Update

Posted by Schooldays Newshound, on 09/10/2018. Budget 2019 Education UpdateTags: Education And Politics Teachers Parenting

Education budget will increase by €674 million to €10.8 billion in 2019, a 6.7% increase 


  • Over 1,300 additional posts in schools will be funded including 950 additional SNA posts and 372 teaching posts

  • Schools will receive a 5% increase in capitation from September 2019

  • The School Excellence Fund will increase by 25% to over €2.5 million

  • Nearly €5 million allocated to support the implementation of the Comprehensive Review of the SNA scheme

  • €57 million in additional current funding will be invested in higher education initiatives in 2019

  • Funding is being made available 10 new apprenticeship schemes

  • €122m to implement the Public Services Pay and Stability Agreement

  • An additional €196m for capital in Education in 2019 to support the creation of up to 18,000 additional permanent school places and 5,000 replacement places and to facilitate the further upgrade of ICT infrastructure in schools

    In addition, Affordable Childcare Scheme income thresholds will increase next year. The base income threshold is being raised from €22,700 to €26,000. The maximum income threshold will go from €47,500 to €60,000, and the multiple child deduction will increase from €3,800 to €4,300.

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

    Additional posts in schools: Budget 2019 will see numbers employed in our schools reach the highest ever level. Over 1,300 additional posts in schools will be funded, including 950 additional SNA posts and 372 teaching posts to cater for growth in student population and additional special classes. As a result of this year’s allocation, there will be 70,313 teachers and over 15,900 SNAs employed in our schools. 

    Increased School Funding: Schools will receive a 5% increase in capitation from September 2019. Over the course of the school year 2019/20, an additional €10 million will be allocated to primary and post primary schools, of which €4 million will be allocated in 2019. 

    €300m Human Capital Initiative: A major new Human Capital Initiative is to be established within the National Training Fund to allocate €300 million from the Fund’s surplus, over the period 2020-2024 to meet the future skills needs of the economy and provide additional investment at levels 6-8 in higher education. This investment will underpin the provision of additional capacity across the higher education sector to meet the priority skill needs of enterprise, to drive regional jobs growth and development, and support key economic sectors in responding to the challenges of Brexit. 

    Focus on innovation and excellence: The School Excellence Fund, the government’s initiative to encourage and support local innovation will increase by 25% to over €2.5 million, allowing more schools to collaborate in clusters to experiment with novel solutions to common challenges. 

    Support for school leadership & wellbeing: Building on measures in previous budgets to enhance school leadership, further investment is being made today to provide teaching principals in primary schools with one additional release day and four additional release days for those in schools with special classes. 10 additional psychologists will be recruited to the National Education Psychological Service to support wellbeing in schools. 

    Improving outcomes for children with additional care needs: Nearly €5 million is being allocated to support the implementation of the Comprehensive Review of the SNA scheme, which is intended to support a new school inclusion model to deliver the right supports at the right time to students with additional care needs. The Government has significantly increased investment in special education in recent years. 

    Building state of the art schools: under Ireland Project 2040, we will deliver an ambitious school building programme, which will support the creation of up to 23,000 new and replacement school places in 2019.  It is expected that over 45 large scale school projects will reach substantial completion in 2019. €50 million will be allocated in 2019 to facilitate the further roll-out of the investment programme to upgrade ICT infrastructure in all schools – a 67% increase on 2018 – in line with our ambition to embed computer science and coding across the curriculum. 

    Higher Education: A package of €57 million in additional current funding will be invested in higher education initiatives in 2019 alongside €41 million additional funding for pay deals and pensions in the sector. This will fund provision for 3,500 additional places, initiatives to support innovation and performance awards, teaching and learning capacity, 1,000 additional places on Springboard+, research funds for Institutes of Technology/TUs, part-time and flexible learning. There will be also be a strengthening of counselling services in higher education. Total funding in higher education will be €337m higher in 2019 than in 2016 (current funding increase of €260m since 2016 and capital funding increase of €79m since 2016). Capital investment of €150 million will also be allocated to the higher education, further education and training and research sectors in 2019. 

    Apprenticeships and Skills: Funding is being made available to support for 7,000 apprenticeship registrations, 5,000 traineeship enrolments and 10 new apprenticeship schemes, in line with our overall commitment to double the number of apprenticeships. There is also significant investment in workforce learning and development with €6 million additional funding for Skillnet Ireland and €11 million for employee skills development initiatives. 

    Public service pay: €122m to implement the Public Services Pay and Stability Agreement, and the recent outcome of discussions on new entrant salary scales. 

    Reform of the National Training Fund: The NTF levy will rise by 0.1% in 2019 and 2020 in order to fund investment in education and training relevant to the skills needs of the economy. The Government is committed to reform of the Fund to ensure that it continues to be responsive to the world of work. The implementation plan for the independent review of the NTF is being published by the Department alongside Budget 2019. 

    Link to Main Features of Budget 2019: Education & Skills



    (10/10/2018 09:15)

    ASTI Statement on Budget

    Budget 2019 fails to resolve the funding crisis in education, ASTI President Breda Lynch has stated.

    Ms Lynch said the recently published OECD report Education at a Glance 2018 finds Ireland in joint last place out of 33 countries for investment in education as a percentage of GDP.

    “The cumulative impact of austerity cutbacks on education and schools have been profound. Budget 2019 does little to reverse swingeing cuts implemented during the recession. In 2019, at a time of growing student numbers, curriculum change in schools and significantly-increased teacher workload, our second-level schools will continue to have a lower ratio of teachers to students, and less capitation funding, than they did in 2009,” said Ms Lynch.

    The ASTI President said that the 5% increase in the capitation grant for students announced as part of Budget 2019 is not enough: “The capitation grant was reduced by 11% between 2011 and 2015. Schools have to operate like charities, constantly fundraising in order to make ends meet. Inadequate funding impacts on all aspects of school life – from heating, furniture and maintenance to essential equipment, field trips and other activities.”

    Teacher numbers

    The ASTI notes that the increase in teacher numbers announced in Budget 2019 is due to demographics rather than to an improvement in the pupil-teacher ratio. “In 2009 the then government increased the pupil-teacher ratio. Schools lost vital teaching staff as a result,” said Breda Lynch.

    The ASTI President added that schools are also suffering as a result of reductions in guidance and counselling provision and middle-management posts. “These cuts continue to have a direct impact on students’ access to welfare and pastoral care services in schools. While we welcome additional posts for the National Educational Psychological Services, this Budget does nothing to support in-school services and no effort has been made to build upon very modest steps to reversing these cuts. Much more needs to be done.”

    Post 2010 entrants’ pay

    Notwithstanding the issuing of proposed measures to address new entrants’ salary issues by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform last month, pay equality for post 2010 entrants to teaching remains a top priority for the ASTI.

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