NPCPPConstituent Member of National Parents Council post primary
Double taxation by Voluntary Fee

Of all schools, voluntary secondary schools are most reliant on parental contributions to help run the school. The ERSI study shows: 87% of voluntary secondary schools receive voluntary contributions compared 49% of vocational schools. The levels of contributions also tend to be higher in the voluntary secondary sector, with half asking for €150 or more per year. Voluntary secondary schools are much more dependent on fundraising and parental contributions than any other school type.

State cut-backs over recent years have increased the pressure on boards of management when balancing their books and have forced them to charge parents for certain basic items. It has also forced them to invite parents to increase, if possible, their voluntary contributions.

Fund raising activities have also been forced on schools. In effect, parents are being required to bridge the funding gap. In Ireland the majority of second level students attend Voluntary Secondary schools - Parents of these students are in effect paying an additional tax for their children's education.

Fed-CSSPA is inviting the parents of the 194,164 students in our voluntary schools to join us in seeking equitable funding for our children's education. Provision for education should be the same for every child. There is a funding imbalance across the second-level sector which requires rebalance to ensure there is equity of provision for faith based schools. It is important to ensure the provision of choice for parents and their families.

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30% less funding than state schools but 51.15% of students attend voluntary secondary school. Reduced funding is reducing services The rate of closure of voluntary scools is increasing - 10 closed in the past 3 years.

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.