Dozen more now considering switchover
ANOTHER fee-paying school has decided its future is more secure by going into the free education scheme.
About a dozen more of the 54 private schools that opened similar discussions with the Department of Education are still considering their options.
An audit conducted by the Department of Education a few years ago showed that, on average, fee-paying schools had a nest egg of €1.48m.
But the actual size varied considerably between schools.
While some fee-paying schools are very well off and are in a position to sustain the drop in state support of recent years, and any fall in enrolments, others are struggling financially.
All private schools are now suffering cuts in state-paid teacher numbers.
Although well-to-do schools may be better off as they are, others can benefit considerably from grants, such as for buildings, that come with the free education scheme.
There was relief in the sector after the last Budget when private schools were spared a further cut. It provided some breathing room, but nonetheless it's a case of watch this space for further announcements.