Local Fianna Fáil TD, John Curran has said that the Minister for Education must review the adequacy of capitation funding in reducing the burden on schools in Dublin Mid-West that are providing education to children in significant economic disadvantage.

The Deputy raised the matter in Dáil Éireann last week and said. “Earlier this month, I visited two DEIS schools in the Clondalkin area, both of which have just over 200 pupils and therefore receive an annual capitation fee of about €35,000.

“This is the only funding that is available for each school to meet its operational budget and from which the cost of lighting, heating, insurance and cleaning also is deducted.

“The principals of these two schools have informed me that €20,000 of this €35,000 budget is spent on the cleaning and maintenance of the building, while electricity and insurance can cost a further €20,000. To meet these basics, schools are already running on a deficit.

“As both of these DEIS schools are located in areas of significant economic disadvantage, they do not have the capacity to fundraise to meet these deficits. They are also not in the position to receive Voluntary Contributions, as is the case in other schools.

“The Programme for Government contains a commitment to “set out capitation rates to schools on a rolling 3-year basis” – I am urging the Government to review the current adequacy of the capitation fee.

“I strongly believe that the capitation rate should be allocated per head rather than proportionate with the number of pupils in the school.

“It would be worthwhile too to consider an enhanced fee for DEIS schools, which have a far greater task in supporting young, vulnerable children to stay in education,” concluded Deputy Curran.