Budget 2023 - Department of Education
Overall, there was an increase of €443 million in core current expenditure for the Department of Education in 2023.
One off cost of living measures:
Once-off funding of €100 million in financial supports is also being provided for 2022 to support:
- primary and post-primary schools in the free education system to deal with challenges they face in light of rising energy costs. Schools will receive an increase of approximately 40 per cent in their standard and enhanced rates of capitation funding.
- existing school transport providers to address the ongoing increased fuel costs.
Budget 2023 measures:
- Additional 296 post-primary posts to meet demographic change.
- 370 teachers to reduce school staffing schedules by 1 point for all primary schools.
- An additional 686 special education teachers across all school settings and 1,194 additional Special Needs Assistants.
- Additional funding for support services for special education.
- Free School Book Scheme to commence in all recognised primary schools in September 2023.
- Continued support for DEIS schools including a reduction in the staffing schedule for certain schools.
- Enhanced summer programme to be maintained in 2023.
Social Justice Ireland response
Social Justice Ireland welcomes the reduction of the Pupil Teacher Ratio at primary level. Ongoing invested is required as 23:1 is still one of highest Pupil Teacher Ratios in the EU. We note the additional post-primary posts to meet demographic demand. We welcome the additional special education posts across all settings and the additional SNAs and support services for special education. This must be the first step towards implementing the EPSEN Act in full over a three year time period starting with the changes announced in Budget 2023.
We welcome the Free School Book Scheme at primary level. This move, while providing welcome support for families, should also support the education system in meeting our national literacy and numeracy goals, and our goals on reducing educational disadvantage.
Social Justice Ireland proposed a 10% increase in capitation grants at primary and post-primary, while we welcome the one-off funding being made available to schools and school transport providers to support them with energy and fuel costs, we are disappointed that there was not an overall increase in capitation grant for schools to support.
While we welcome the continued support for DEIS and reducing educational disadvantage, we are concerned that the allocation will not be sufficient to reach our national targets in this area. We regret that the CLASS scheme was not expanded to incorporate the additional requirements for students arriving from Ukraine.