Posted by SchoolDays Newshound on 23/10/2013. Tags: Education And Politics Parenting Teacher News
Details of a comprehensive study which was undertaken by the ESRI of educational governance and financing across the three different sectors of second-level schools in Ireland, namely, voluntary secondary schools, vocational schools, and community/comprehensive schools, has been published today
The research shows that voluntary secondary schools, which account for the majority of the State’s second-level pupils, are far more dependent on parental contributions than other types of school. Voluntary secondary schools make up 52 per cent of all second-level schools. Vocational schools comprise 35 per cent of schools and the community/comprehensive sector makes up 13 per cent.
by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), found "stark differences" among different types of schools about whether they asked for a contribution and the level sought. Parents of children in the 380 voluntary secondary schools are more likely to be asked for a payment and it is also likely to be higher than what is sought in the other sectors. More than four-in-five voluntary secondary schools (87pc) receive contributions, compared with 62pc of community and comprehensive schools and under half (49pc) of vocational schools. The report details what parents are being asked to pay, with almost one-in-three (31pc) of the non-fee paying voluntary schools seeking €150 a year, and one-in-five asking for €200 a year, or more.
The research found that “Over half of all schools use their income from parental contributions for school maintenance. Voluntary secondary schools are more likely to use this income to pay for secretarial services and security than other school types.”
The report also highlighted major differences in the mechanisms used to fund the three school sectors funded by Government, which it stated resulted in a lack of transparency, making it difficult to compare school funding on a like-with-like basis
The three school sectors are funded through different mechanisms:
* voluntary secondary schools receive per capita grants for their students from the Department of Education and Skills (DES);
* vocational schools receive State funding in the form of a 'block grant' which is allocated to Educational Training Boards (former Vocational Education Committees) that distribute funds to their schools;
* community/comprehensive schools negotiate a budget with the DES on an annual basis.
In summarising the policy implications of it’s findings, the ESRI makes the point that “the reliance of voluntary secondary schools on parental contributions puts them at a disadvantage in the context of the current recession. The future funding of second-level schools needs to take this into account.”
You can view the full ESRI Press Release here
and the full ESRI Report can be downloaded here