Social and economic basis for maintaining funding for private schools – Daly

Fine Gael Cork South West Deputy and former school principal, Jim Daly TD, has urged commentators not to throw the baby out with the bath water in the debate on the future support of private schools.

Expressing support for maintaining funding for fee paying schools, Deputy Daly said the case for such schools can be made both on a social and an economic basis.

“A report by Price Waterhouse Cooper in May 2011 showed that it costs €3,843 more for the State to educate a person in a non-fee paying school than in a private school. As a member of the Oireachtas Finance Committee, I believe that there is no economic justification to reduce the grants to the 55 fee paying schools in Ireland.

“The sums just won’t add up. There is no financial saving to be made by the State by abolishing these grants to a sector that represents such value for money. Furthermore, if funding was reduced to these schools, it would amount to discrimination to some religious minorities who are not afforded the same entitlement to be educated in their own ethos.

“I do not believe that it is fair or just to deny parents and students the right to avail of an education respectful of a particular ethos. Any changes to the current arrangement, which represents great value for the taxpayer, could jeopardise the future of many of these institutions which are also very significant employers in each of their own areas.”