01 May 2013

Patron Contribution

1st May 2013

Dear Parents,

The year is moving on and we are now beginning to plan for next year. Next week we will be sending out book-bills. I am writing today to explain a new cost on book-bills. This is called the Educate Together Patron Contribution. Firstly, however, I would like to explain the reasons for including this cost.

Educate Together, as our Patron, incurs considerable costs and it invoices all schools under it’s patronage for €13 per year per child enrolled. In fact, there is a motion coming up at their AGM this month to increase this to €15 per child. Up to now, the school has paid this out of school funds. As a start-up school we actually had a reduction for the first few years and so it didn’t come to such a huge sum. This year, however, it amounted to €2,800. This is a large chunk of school funding and leaves us in a position of being unable to purchase other resources such as books or computers or indeed struggling to pay heating and lighting bills.

The Board of Management has considered the issue and has decided to ask parents through book-bills to make a contribution towards this. They decided to request €10 per child. If a family has more than 3 children attending the school then it is not expected that they should be asked to pay for a fourth or subsequent child.

I’m sure parents would like to know what uses this money is put towards. The following is a list of areas in which such funds are spent:


Practical support for  teachers such as lesson plans and library resources,

  • Providing support for Principals, including a confidential advice service,
  • In-service training for  teachers on the Learn Together curriculum,
  • Lobbying to have Learn Together taught in all Colleges of Education,
  • Providing      crisis-management
  • Assisting schools with  representations to the Department of Education and Skills, politicians,      planning authorities and legal bodies.

There would have been considerable input over the last few years from central office in helping to get our school off the ground. Indeed, the current building project we can see becoming a reality for us has benefited greatly from representations to the Department by our patron.

The Board is anxious that they avoid putting too much financial pressure on families in these economically challenging times. For this reason they have asked me to stress that when parents receive book-bills they are made aware that we are quite happy to receive payment in instalments. Many families at our school pay for books in this way. Also, if even this causes strain then parents are asked to make an appointment with myself and we can discuss the situation in total confidence and see what we can do.

Thank you in advance for your attention and understanding. We will send out book-bills on Wednesday 8th May.

Yours truly,Tomás,  Principal and Secretary to Board of Management.