Primary Education – Budget Measures

BudgetWebIn his address, Minister Howlin acknowledged that ‘education is also the engine of economic growth’.  IPPN recognises that positive Budget measures taken in relation to primary education in Budget 2016 are an acknowledgment of this fact.
IPPN Welcomes:
  • Pupil teacher ratio reduced by 1 from 28:1 to 27:1
  • One additional Early Childhood Education Year- IPPN supports this development, but it should be focused on children with the greatest need. IPPN has consistently called for this intervention as it potentially can have one of the greatest impacts on children from disadvantaged areas
  • Increase in Budget provision for Speech and Language Therapy
  • 600 new Resource Teachers have been announced. Unfortunately this represents  less than 15% of those already lost in previous cuts
  • 250 posts to be used to support Deputy Principals at second level and support Teaching Principals at primary level by giving more release days
  • Minor Works Grant -  Primary schools will receive €28.5m under the minor works fund over the coming weeks
  • Summer Works Programme of €80 million over two years
  • Increase in ‘release days’ for Teaching Principals. Every teaching principal knows the importance of non teaching time during the school day to address essential administration, communication and the leadership aspect of the role. IPPN has lobbied consistently to bring about one non teaching day per week to enable principals have a basic minimum amount of time for such duties.  The budget has provided for a small increase in the number of ‘release days’. Although the number of days falls short of the numbers which IPPN recommended, the slight change in the allocation of non teaching days, is at least a step in the right direction.  One non teaching day per week continues to be number one priority and will continue to be the focus of our engagement with the DES. Please see the table below for details of the announced changes.
Size of School:

Size of School

Number of Days Release Time current school year

Number of Days Release Time next school year

  1. Principal + 5 / 6



  1. Principal + 3 / 4



  1. Principal + 0 / 1 / 2



IPPN Regrets that :
  • There was no increase in the Capitation Grant. Capitation grants are intended to be spent on the day-to-day running costs of the school, for example, heating, cleaning, lighting, maintenance of school premises and grounds and the provision of teaching materials and resources. Many schools could not survive without this grant, which is used for vital maintenance.  Shortfalls in its payment may result in some schools having to seek more from parents in terms of voluntary contributions
  • No funding allocated to address Emotional Wellbeing, Mental Health or NEPS (National Educational Psychological Service).
  • Provide funding to restore a new model of middle management at primary level. Currently there is a moratorium on primary schools filling middle management posts. This causes great difficulty, particularly where strategy implementation requires distributed leadership through middle management capacity.

IPPN Sponsors