The ESRI report is based on the most comprehensive survey ever of second level schools, and it shows that a significant gap (circa 30%) has developed between the funding of Faith based schools and State schools.
ESRI Study confirms that there is no equity in the way in which secondary schools in Ireland are funded.
ETBs and community/comprehensive schools receive 90% or more of their funding from government sources. Voluntary sector schools receive less than 70%.
This situation equates to an additional tax on parents who send their children to voluntary secondary schools in the free education scheme.
The impact of Cost vs Funding available
(2013 ERSI Report)
The majority of schools have been forced to charge students for activities
More than one-third of schools have dropped one or more subjects
10% of schools have dropped the Leaving Certificate Applied Programme
6% have dropped Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme
3% have discontinued Transition Year
18% of principals have asked Trustees or another external body for money
7% have increased the parental voluntary contribution
Historically, voluntary secondary schools were able to pay some teachers from their own funds. This is no longer possible.
Currently there is a broad range of second level schools in Ireland which reflects parental demand. (ERSI 2013).
Parents of children in both faith-based and State schools value the choice that is provided and would want this diversity to continue. The Voluntary Secondary school is the main provider of single gender schooling in Ireland.
This report shows that the number of Voluntary Secondary Schools has decreased by 48 between the years 2000 to 2013.
Department figures show a further decrease of 10 schools in the past 3 years to end of 2016. Underfunding of Voluntary Secondary schools is impacting on the survival of these schools.