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Chronic underfunding for Cavan and Monaghan Primary Schools needs to be addressed immediately - Cllr Sarah O'Reilly

Staff at Cavan and Monaghan Primary schools are at breaking point due to the chronic underfunding of their schools.

Aontú Cllr Sarah O' Reilly says


"The Minister for Education is well behind the curve here; she has created a smoke and mirrors scenario around funding for our primary schools, putting out the impression that all is well.

All is clearly NOT well, and I find it staggering that our Primary schools, the place where we lay the foundations for our young people are so chronically underfunded. This is a real scandal and is causing untold pressure, stress and worry on an already stretched teaching staff, particularly the principal schoolteachers who are shouldering an unfair burden of responsibility as they try their best to make the limited resources they have, work, but simply can't".


"They are having to spend more time in school as the money to employ additional teaching staff is simply not forthcoming".


"Parents of primary school children in Cavan and Monaghan are labouring under the impression that they do not need to make contributions but sadly the opposite is the case".


"The Minister has also created a false narrative that schools are well funded, and parents need not contribute to schools. She has also created an unrealistic expectation of what can be provided under the School Grants Scheme".


"I don't believe that parents who are to the pin of their collars trying to make ends meet should have to contribute, and it is quite amazing that so many of our primary schools have to rely on the goodwill of parents, local businesses and fundraising efforts to try and provide the resources to schools in Cavan and Monaghan. It is crazy".


"I have been contacted by so many school Principals who are increasingly worried and frustrated at this ongoing unsustainable situation. They have criticised the Minister for Education for cultivating the false impression that her department is providing adequate funding, making announcements about further 'supports' to schools such as Free School Books, Hot School Meals and a Summer Programme while simultaneously reducing the amount of funding. I echo their sentiments and belief that this is mere showboating in advance of a general election".

"The schools need real; tangible supports that will make a difference. For example, money spent on hot meals in a small school would provide an extra teacher which would benefit more children".

"Schools are at breaking point. Principals are too.".


"This is a national crisis and has to be addressed and rectified immediately".



For further information contact Cllr Sarah O' Reilly 086 3994658

Notes to Editors

At a recent Cavan Principal Support meeting the Principals of Cavan Primary schools
expressed their utter annoyance and frustration being felt over current financial
struggles. Please see below for data extracted from a survey issued.
● 92% of Cavan Principals say that the financial situation has seriously or somewhat
affected their wellbeing.
● Insurance costs accounts for 31%-50% of capitation received.
● Light and heat is on average 50% of the capitation.
● Extra costs associated with maintenance and services e.g. security alarms, fire alarms,
fire extinguishers, septic tanks/treatment plants, rodent control, sanitary bins and
photocopying are draining capitation funds.
● Accountancy fees are around €1250-€2500 which is a huge % of the capitation
particularly in smaller schools.
● A number of schools received no ancillary grant due to the fact that their secretaries who
are now being paid by the DES are absorbing the ancillary funds.
● With entirely insufficient capitation funds and inadequate ancillary funding, schools are
unable to pay cleaners.
● Principals have diligently attempted to combat this by reducing cleaning hours. In some
instances Principals have reduced cleaning hours by 50%.
● 85.7 % of Cavan Principals do not have money for teaching and learning resources.
Necessary teaching resources have now become luxury items that schools can't afford.
● It is impossible to prepare a budget when we do not know what grants we are due to get
and when they are due to be paid.
● 85.7% of Principals have work that needs to be carried out imminently on their schools,
but the Minor Works grant received is an advance payment for 2024/25.

By Aontú Press | 25 June, 2024

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