Catholic Primary Schools Management Association response to Budget 2014
In response to the publication of Budget 2014 today in Dáil Éireann by Minister Michael Noonan TD, Minister for Finance, and Minister Brendan Howlin TD, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, the CPSMA (Catholic Primary Schools Management Association) has issued the following statement:
Father Tom Deenihan, general secretary of the CPSMA said, “The CPSMA welcomes the maintenance of the pupil teacher ratio at 28:1, following extensive representations made by the organisation to the Department of Education and Skills on the issue. However, the phased increase in pupil thresholds in Budget 2012 continues to impact negatively on the 1, 2, 3, and 4 teacher schools (schools with less than 86 pupils) and CPSMA regrets that this continues to compromise the viability of smaller schools.
“Whilst the announcement of capital investment is welcomed, it should be noted that it represents investment in a small proportion of school buildings. In line with our pre-budget submission, CPSMA once again calls on the Department of Education & Skills to restore the Minor Works grant to enable schools to address essential maintenance costs.
“CPSMA is disappointed at the continued reduction in the capitation grant, as this exacerbates the very difficult financial situations facing many schools.
“While CPSMA welcomes the investment in the establishment of book rental schemes, it calls on the Minister to review the provision of additional funding to schools that have already established schemes, without the benefit of a set-up grant. CPSMA hopes that the Department of Education and Skills will continue to build on this important initiative and minimise the financial burden on families.
“CPSMA calls for – as a matter of priority – the roll-out of high-speed broadband to be extended to all primary schools in the State.”
Notes to Editors
The CPSMA is a recognised school management association and represents all the boards of management of the over 2,900 Catholic primary schools in the Republic of Ireland. Father Tom Deenihan is the general secretary of the CPSMA and Mrs Maria Spring is the chairperson. See www.cpsma.ie
Please contact the Catholic Communications Office if you require a photograph of Father Deenihan.
For media contact: Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Martin Long 00353 (0) 86 172 7678 and Brenda Drumm 00353 (0) 87 310 4444