Minister for Education Norma Foley TD, along with Minister of State for Special Education and Inclusion Josepha Madigan TD and Minister of State for Sport and Physical Education Thomas Byrne TD, have announced details of an unprecedented €10.5 billion investment in Education and Schools in Budget 2024.

Budget 2024 provides an increase of €421 million in core current funding, as well as over €80 million in core capital funding.

An additional €170 million is also being provided as part of Cost of Living and COVID-19 supports. These additional funds build on significant increases in recent budgets and further enhance the investment in Ireland’s primary and post-primary education system.

person with red rucksack
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • Print
  • linkedin
  • Buffer
  • Gmail

The significant increased investment is the largest Education budget in the history of the state and reflects government’s commitment to a quality inclusive school system and improved learning outcomes for every student.

filed four books
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • Print
  • linkedin
  • Buffer
  • Gmail

 

The key features include:

• Some €67 million funding for free schoolbooks and classroom resources for Junior Cycle students. This will bring total investment in free school books at primary and post-primary school level to some €115 million.

• Over €20 million in additional capitation funding to assist schools now and longer term with increased day-to-day running costs. This will support a permanent restoration of funding for all primary and post-primary schools, bringing the basic rate of capitation to €200 per student in primary schools and to €345 in post-primary schools.

• In addition, to particularly support schools this year with inflationary pressures, Minister Foley has secured an additional €60 million in cost of living supports, which will be paid to all primary and post-primary schools in the free scheme.

• €92 million in additional funding for the School Transport Scheme to provide additional places for children with special educational needs, increased bus contractor costs and a continued reduction in school transport fees.

• €82 million for an additional 1,216 Special Needs Assistants and 744 additional Special Educational Needs Teachers in classrooms providing for 2,700 new places for children with special educational needs.

• Provision of an additional €11 million for special schools catering for children with special educational needs to remove the threshold for the appointment of an Administrative Deputy Principal and provide for a further 100 teaching posts.

• €20 million in funding for the Enhanced Summer Programme totalling €40 million for summer 2024.

• Additional allocation for curricular reforms, which includes funding for the accelerated roll out of the Senior Cycle Redevelopment programme and the delivery of additional physical activity initiatives in schools.

• Additional allocation for social inclusion measures, including enhancing the capacity of the Tusla Education Support Services and additional educational welfare officer posts.

• Provision made for the pilot counselling services to continue for another year.

• Actions to address teacher supply issues through an incentive scheme to partially refund future Professional Masters in Education (PME) fees and additional upskilling teacher programmes for in demand subjects.

• Additional posts of responsibility allocated to assist the leadership and management in schools.

• A capital allocation of €940 million for 2024 for the addition of essential capacity in schools through building new schools and the rollout of additional accommodation in existing schools.

• Under Project Ireland 2040, the school sector will receive a total of approximately €4.4 billion capital investment over the period 2021-2025.

a board game with cards
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • Print
  • linkedin
  • Buffer
  • Gmail

 

Minister Foley said:

It gives me great pleasure to have secured €10.5 billion in total funding for Education in Budget 2024. This significant increase in funding ensures that the total budget is at the highest ever for our primary and post primary schools. The funding will ensure continued reduced costs for families; it will continue to tackle disadvantage and it will provide further supports to safeguard inclusive education for all school communities.

honeycrisp apple fruit near books and chalk Google Home Mini smart speaker
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • Print
  • linkedin
  • Buffer
  • Gmail

A rise in the cost of living should never be a barrier to pupils and students’ experience of school. This year, for the first time ever, families of primary school children benefitted from our landmark free schoolbooks and classroom resources scheme. Today I am pleased beyond measure to announce the expansion of the Free Schoolbooks and Classroom Resources Scheme to all students accessing the Junior Cycle programme. This permanent initiative has an initial investment of €67 million that will benefit some 212,000 students and their families in every county in Ireland and adds to the 558,000 children in primary and special schools who benefited from this initiative last year.

This year’s Budget will provide targeted funding for school communities with an increase in capitation by over €81 million, €21 million in permanent core funding. I am pleased to announce that an additional €60 million has been secured in temporary funding which will assist schools with increased day to day running costs such as heating and electricity.

parabolic antenna on white roof
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • Print
  • linkedin
  • Buffer
  • Gmail

 

Furthermore, additional targeted funding will also be provided to social inclusion and educational supports which help facilitate the continued provision of high quality and inclusive school and education systems and promote improved learning outcomes for pupils and students.

In a further effort to improve access to school and education for families of students across the country, I am also pleased to be able to provide an additional €92 million funding for the School Transport Scheme.

Over the last three years, we have invested in an Enhanced Summer Programme, to support students at risk of educational disadvantage and help mitigate learning loss as a result of the pandemic. The programme has been extremely successful to date, so it gives me great pleasure now to announce that an additional €20 million will be made available again for this school year. The Programme has been enormously valuable to students and their families, and continues to grow in its popularity and impact. I have also secured funding to extend the pilot counselling services for primary schools for another year.

woman in red crew neck shirt and brown and black leopard print cardigan smiling
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • Print
  • linkedin
  • Buffer
  • Gmail

This Budget also provides critical additional funding in 2024 for curricular and assessment reforms to progress our plans for Senior Cycle Redevelopment, wellbeing and Active Schools programmes which are rooted in the delivery of a modern, inclusive education system that puts the student at the centre of the learning process.

a baseball bat and a ball on a field
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • Print
  • linkedin
  • Buffer
  • Gmail

Minister Madigan said:

This Budget makes the biggest-ever commitment, in real, financial and percentage terms, to students with special educational needs and their families. Measures announced today have been designed to help support every pupil and student to thrive at school and realise the full extent of their potential.

At over €2.7 billion of current expenditure, this level of investment in special education is unprecedented, representing a 5% increase for the special education budget this year.

We are building on the progress already made on additional classes, teachers and supports. I am very pleased that an additional €82 million in funding will be made available to provide for a further 744 teachers, and a further 1,216 SNAs to be recruited in 2024, to deliver up to 2,700 new places for children with special educational needs.

woman in blue tank top standing beside white wall
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • Print
  • linkedin
  • Buffer
  • Gmail

I am delighted to have secured new funding of €11 million to benefit special schools catering for children with special educational needs, to remove the threshold for the appointment of an Administrative Deputy Principal and provide for a further 100 teaching posts. This will benefit nearly 9,000 children in these schools from next September.

I welcome the additional €20 million that will be made available for the Enhanced Summer Programme which is particularly beneficial for children with special educational needs and saw 50% of special schools offer the programme this summer. I hope that this announcement will encourage schools to commit to running the programme next summer.

This investment will benefit pupils and students throughout Ireland with special educational needs, as well as their families, to achieve the best possible outcomes.

brown wooden parquet floor with white wall
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • Print
  • linkedin
  • Buffer
  • Gmail

Minister Byrne said:

As Minister for Sport and Physical Education, I am delighted to announce increased funding for the expansion of the Active School Flag programme. Budget 2024 will support more schools to get more active, more often.

As a result of the increased funding for the Active School Flag programme, I look forward to seeing more flags awarded to primary schools across the country and to seeing the growth of the post-primary programme from pilot phase into full roll-out.

The increased allocation under Budget 2024 will also support the delivery of physical activity initiatives in schools alongside the continued delivery of the Physical Education curricula.

As a Government, we are working hard to deliver on our commitment to promote the personal health and wellbeing of our young people.

Translate »