St. Gerard's fee paying school gets €1.8m from state

Published 19/01/2011 | 12:26

ST. GERARD'S in Bray, the most expensive fee-paying school in the State, received €1.8 million in support from the Government last year.

According to new figures, private fee-paying schools received over €100 million in support from the taxpayer last year.

Schools in south Dublin to receive money to cover teacher salaries included Blackrock College at €4.2 million, and St. Andrew's College which received €3.6 million

Ireland is one of the countries where the Government covers the salaries of the teachers in fee-paying schools. This means they can use the income from fees to improve school services and facilities.

The 2009 McCarthy Report on public service reform estimated that the 50-plus fee-paying schools in the State generate about €100 million in annual fee income from parents, in addition to the €100 million from the State for teacher salaries.

Most fee-paying schools charge fees of over €5,000 per year, with boarding schools charging up to €16,000 per year. St. Gerard's senior school tuition fees amount to €6,550 per year.

Demand by parents for private education, which has been largely unaffected by the economic downturn.

Last year, Minister for Education Mary Coughlan ruled out any change in support for private schools, which was a long-standing practice.The Teachers' Union of Ireland says State funding should be withdrawn from those fee-paying schools which operate restrictive admission policies.

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