Funding for voluntary secondary schools is based on the allocation of a per capita grant to schools. The standard per capita grant is €345 per pupil for the 2009/2010 school year. Under the School Services Support Initiative, all second level schools receive an additional per capita grant per pupil to meet the costs essential services such as secretarial and caretaking.

Funding for voluntary secondary schools has been enhanced by an “equalisation” measure to address the historic anomalies in the funding arrangements for different school types.

Community and comprehensive schools are funded on an annual budget basis through a process of negotiations.

Schools under the auspices of the Vocational Education Committees are funded on an historic cost basis. The allocation for an individual school within the envelope for a given Vocational Education Committee is determined in accordance with the school’s needs and Vocational Education Committee’s priorities and policies.

Despite improvements in the capitation grant in recent years, Ireland comes close to the bottom of the OECD league in terms of spending per second level student.

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