Local schools will also benefit from upgraded ICT equipment
Fine Gael Senator, Tim Lombard, has said schools in Cork will benefit from more SNAs, teachers and funding thanks to a caring, balanced and fair Budget.
Budget 2019 marks the third year of a major reinvestment in the education sector, as we continue to progress the Action Plan for Education, our plan to make Ireland’s education and training service the best in Europe by 2026. In 2019, the budget for the Department of Education and Skills will increase by €674 million, a 6.7% increase on last year.
This will bring Government expenditure on education and skills to its highest ever level of nearly €10.8 billion. This includes the highest ever capital allocation for education – €941 million, a €196m increase on 2018.
Senator Lombard said: “Budget 2019 will see numbers employed in our schools reach the highest ever level. Over 1,300 additional posts in schools will be funded, including 950 additional SNA posts and 372 teaching posts to cater for growth in student population and additional special classes.
“As a result of this year’s allocation, there will be 70,313 teachers and over 15,900 SNAs employed in our schools. All schools in Cork will receive a 5% increase in capitation from September 2019.
“Over the course of the school year 2019/20, an additional €10 million will be allocated to primary and post primary schools, of which €4 million will be allocated in 2019.
“Nearly €5 million is being allocated to support the implementation of the Comprehensive Review of the SNA scheme, which is intended to support a new school inclusion model to deliver the right supports at the right time to students with additional care needs here in Cork. The Government has significantly increased investment in special education in recent years.”
Senator Lombard continued: “€50 million will be allocated in 2019 to facilitate the further roll-out of the investment programme to upgrade ICT infrastructure in all schools in Cork – a 67% increase on 2018 – in line with our ambition to embed computer science and coding across the curriculum.
“A package of €57 million in additional current funding will be invested in higher education initiatives in 2019. This will fund provision for 3,500 additional places, initiatives to support innovation and performance awards, teaching and learning capacity, 1,000 additional places on Springboard+, research funds for Institutes of Technology/TUs, part-time and flexible learning.
“Funding is also being made available to support for 7,000 apprenticeship registrations, 5,000 traineeship enrolments and 10 new apprenticeship schemes, in line with our overall commitment to double the number of apprenticeships.
“There is also significant investment in workforce learning and development with €6 million additional funding for Skillnet Ireland and €11 million for employee skills development initiatives,” Senator Lombard concluded.
Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton said: “Education is key to our ability to adapt successfully during a period of very rapid change and considerable new challenges.
“This Budget is making the investments we need to ensure we equip Irish talent with the capacity to shape their future. We are investing heavily in new pathways, skills, school leadership and local innovation.
“In particular, the €300m human capital initiative will have a big impact on addressing skills needs of enterprise, driving regional development and supporting key sectors in the face of Brexit.
“We also have the highest ever capital budget this year, as part of our plan to prepare for the future by investing in state of the art new schools, and in higher and further education.”
10 October 2018