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Budget 2023 Education Update

Posted by SchoolDays Newshound, on 28/09/2022. Budget 2023 Education UpdateTags: Parenting Teachers

A total of €9.6 billion has been allocated to the Department of Education for 2023, including a capital budget of €860 million.

This will include:

  • The average teacher pupil ratio in primary schools being reduced from 24:1 to 23:1 pupils providing 370 additional teaching posts
  • Free schoolbooks for all primary school children from next September
  • €100 million to ensure schools are supported in dealing with energy cost pressures and transport providers.
  • A once-off reduction in the Student Contribution of €1,000 for eligible third level students in the 2022-2023 education year.
  • Funding provided for the continuation of the Enhanced Summer Programme for a further year
  • Provision for 686 additional teachers to support those with special educational needs in special classes
  • Funding for 4,800 additional apprenticeship places

    Childcare and Family

  • 25% cut to weekly childcare fees from next year for those availing of the National Childcare Scheme
  • An additional lump payment of €500 to those in receipt of the Working Family Payment
  • A double Child Benefit payment will be made to all qualifying households, worth €140 per child
  • The 20% reduction in public transport ticket prices has been extended for 2023 with 50% on youth travel card
  • Electricity credits for all households totalling €600 to be paid in three instalments of €200
  • Free contraception expanded to those aged 16-30
  • Social welfare payments are increasing by €12 per week
  • Major expansion of GP card

    Updated 29/9/22 with Dept of Education Press Release on Education Funding in Budget

    Minister for Education Norma Foley TD and Minister of State for Special Education and Inclusion Josepha Madigan TD today announced details of Budget 2023 landmark increases in investment in schools.

    Budget 2023 provides an increase of €443 million in core funding, as well as over €145 million in non-core expenditure. This builds on significant increases in recent budgets and further enhances the investment in the primary and post-primary education system. The significant increased investment reflects the Government’s commitment to a quality inclusive school system with improved learning outcomes for every student.

    The key features include:

  • Over €50 million funding to provide for free books at primary level
  • €90m one-off additional funding to support increased school running costs
  • 2,180 new teachers and special needs assistants
  • Historically low 23:1 staffing schedule at primary level
  • Increased investment in special education, social inclusion and wellbeing

    Budget 2023 Key Education Measures

  • In a ground-breaking new provision, new funding of €47 million will bring total investment in free school books at primary school level to over €50 million, which will significantly reduce the burden on families. This follows the free school book pilot scheme which has operated in 102 DEIS primary schools since September 2020 and is a commitment of the Programme for Government.

  • Continuing to deliver on the commitments in the Programme for Government, funding will be provided to reduce class sizes by reducing the school staffing schedules by 1 point for all primary schools. The staffing schedule will now be 23:1 in mainstream schools, with lower rates applying in the 306 DEIS Urban band 1 schools. The 1 point improvement will also apply to the enhanced staffing schedule in place in the 306 DEIS Urban band 1 schools

  • This is a further reduction on the already historically low level and the first time such a reduction has been made in three consecutive Budgets.

  • As part of the Cost of Living measures to be enacted this year €90m is being provided in one-off additional funding to support increased running costs for primary and post-primary schools in the free education scheme in dealing with challenges they face in light of rising energy costs. This will be paid at a rate of 40% of schools’ basic and enhanced rates of capitation.

  • For 2023, the special education budget will be substantially increased by almost ten per cent, with a total spend on supporting students with special educational needs of over €2.6 billion. There are extensive new measures to support students with special educational needs, with additional teaching, SNA and support resources, building on the exceptional work already undertaken in 2022 to ensure appropriate placement for children in mainstream classes, special classes and special schools.

  • Other new measures include €8 million to address the impacts of Covid-19 and increase retention rates of students in schools, especially those from groups at risk of educational disadvantage. This will include a 5% increase in the funding for the School Completion Programme.

  • An additional €20 million will be provided to maintain in 2023 the enhanced Summer Programme, established to provide additional supports for students at risk of educational disadvantage as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. This will bring the total provision for the Summer Programme in 2023 to €40 million.

  • The Department is due to publish the review of the Action Plan on Bullying and the updated Action Plan on Bullying in November; €1 million will be provided to undertake actions to prevent and tackle bullying in schools.

  • Additional funding of €2 million will be provided in 2023, to progress work on the Senior Cycle reform programme. Additional funding of €11 million will be provided to maintain for 2023 the enhanced rate of payment to examiners in the State examinations as a result of Covid-19 measures.

  • Additional funding of €3 million in 2023 will be provided for social inclusion measures, including enhancing the capacity of the education welfare services in Tusla that are now under the remit of the Minister for Education.

    Special Education Measures

    Additional provision in Budget 2023 for measures supporting children with special educational needs includes:

  • €12 million for additional teachers supporting students with special educational needs

    686 new teacher posts, as follows:
  • 206 of the new posts will provide additional support for children attending mainstream classes including new and expanding schools.
  • 480 posts will facilitate the opening of a further 370 new special classes providing over 2,200 new places in 2023 and 250 new special school places
  • 1,194 SNA posts covering primary and post-primary, as follows:
  • 735 to support students in new special classes
  • 124 to support students in new special school places
  • 335 to support students in mainstream classes

    As a result, the number of special classes will increase to 2,900 in schools throughout the country.

    Further investment in special education will include:

  • additional funding for the National Council for Special Education to enable it to provide additional support to students with special educational needs and their families. An additional 121 frontline and administrative posts to support families will be recruited. This commitment will rise to a €13 million investment in a full year.

  • a further 40 new posts will be provided, for a new scheme to support Deaf and Hard of Hearing students for whom Irish Sign Language is their first language.

  • the National Educational Psychological Service will receive funding for an additional 54 psychologists to provide services to special schools and special classes.

  • an additional investment of €2 million will made in the assistive technology in education scheme, to meet the needs of students availing of this scheme.

    Capital Programme

    Under Project Ireland 2040, the school sector will receive a total of approximately €4.4 billion capital investment over the period 2021-2025. This significant investment allows us to move forward with certainty on our ambitious plans and deliver high-quality building projects, with a real focus on sustainability, for school communities across Ireland.

    Capital planning and budgeting is undertaken on a multi-annual basis. The allocation of €860 million for 2023 will facilitate a continued strong roll-out of school building projects. This includes the continued progression of the circa. 300 building projects that are currently at construction. The majority of these projects are expected to be completed in 2023. These projects include over 50 new school buildings and extensions at circa. 250 schools.

    The continued roll-out of the National Development Plan will involve a further circa. 150 school building projects that are currently at advanced design or tender stage, commencing construction over the course of 2023. A strong focus of the school building programme is delivering additional capacity for special classes, particularly at post-primary level, and also for special schools

    Cost of Living Measures

    Once-off funding of €100 million is also being provided for 2022 as part of the cost of living measures to be enacted this year to ensure financial supports are available for:

  • schools to meet the increased running costs for primary and post-primary schools in the free education system to deal with challenges they face in light of rising energy costs. This will be paid at a rate of approximately 40 per cent in their standard and enhanced rates of capitation funding.

  • existing school transport providers to address the ongoing increased fuel costs.

    Details of the key measures in the Department of Education budget are available here:



    (27/09/2022 16:35)

    Disappointing Budget fails second-level education
    ASTI Press Release

    Today’s Budget announcement will do little to address the chronic underfunding of second-level schools and large class sizes, according to ASTI President Miriam Duggan.

    “Ireland is ranked in last place out of 36 OECD countries for investment in second-level education as a percentage of GDP*. Despite this underfunding, Budget 2023 fails to address core funding for schools and does nothing to reduce our large class sizes,” said Ms Duggan.

    School funding

    The ASTI President said the union acknowledges the announcement today of additional one-off funding for energy costs and school transport. However, she said school operational costs are wide ranging and a significant increase in the school capitation grant is what is required to bring investment in line with the OECD country average.

    “The funding gap experienced by second-level schools is not new and arose long before current inflationary increases. It is due to prolonged underfunding and it is the reason why so many second-level schools are forced to fundraise to try to meet day to day operational costs.”

    Class size

    Ms Duggan said that under investment in second-level education has continued despite record numbers of second-level students: “Schools continue to welcome more students every year, including students from Ukraine and other challenging situations. Teachers are addressing increasingly complex societal issues which are impacting on young people on a daily basis. Classes with 26 to 30 adolescents are the norm at Junior Cycle**. Schools are buckling under the strain of increased demands and expectations”.

    Withdrawal of teachers

    Today’s announcement that there will be no reduction in class sizes compounds the recent withdrawal of additional teachers allocated to second-level schools during the pandemic. “These teachers were withdrawn despite the overwhelming evidence of learning gaps and mental health challenges which emerged during the pandemic and school closure periods. The 296 second-level teachers mentioned in today’s Budget relate to demographic changes only and will do nothing to augment supports for schools or reduce class sizes for students,” said Ms Duggan.

    School buildings

    An ASTI survey in 2021*** found that many school buildings require serious upgrading. “Covid has demonstrated how essential it is to have school buildings that are fit for purpose. It is shocking that so many schools are in need of ventilation systems, improved heating systems, and upgraded toilet facilities,” said Ms Duggan.

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