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Parents paying school heating bills

Posted by Sally O'Brien, on 18/11/2014. Parents paying school heating billsTags: Education And Politics Parenting

A survey published by the Irish Primary Principals’ Network (IPPN) has found that Parent Associations are now paying school heating bills as many schools cannot meet the cost of the next oil fill.

The survey also found that because of lack of funding for vital school services such as cleaning, secretarial and caretaking, teachers are taking on some of these responsibilities. According to the IPPN: ‘IT infrastructure is not maintained and literacy, numeracy and self evaluation strategies are starved of funds. A number of schools reported that Parent Associations are paying the heating bills.’

Lack of funds means that parent ‘voluntary contributions’ have now risen in some schools to 200 - 250 euro.

This year Capitation Grants, that would support services such as light, heating and insurance, have been cut in the October budget. Since 2010 capitation grants per pupil have been reduced from €200 per pupil to €173 in 2014. Fundraising by Parent Associations is providing schools with much needed funding where these grants have been cut. Results of the survey show that 50% of schools request a ‘voluntary’ contribution from parents and up to 90% are involved in continuous fundraising activities.

IPPN CEO, Seán Cottrell stated, ‘It is a disgrace that parents, having earned a salary and paid taxes, are then depended upon to subsidise the running costs of their local primary school in the form of so called ‘voluntary’ contributions in order to prop up a grossly underfunded education system. This is nothing other than a further form of taxation. Investment in primary education is a measure of how society cares for its people and their economic prosperity. Spending on education should not be seen as a cost but rather an investment’.



(18-11-2014 12:11)

It would be great if schools would routinely publish accounts to parents, so parents can see where their contributions are being spent. This is required by Dept Ed BoM regulations, but is routinely ignored.


(06-11-2015 13:31)

I just received a letter from my child's primary school (child is in junior infants) requesting immediate payment for voluntary contribution of 350 for the year. This is for 1 child! I just think this is a crazy amount to expect parents to be able to afford. Just wondering if any other schools have a voluntary contribution that is this expensive?

William Rooney

(30-01-2015 21:30)

I agree with Shane 100%

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