In relation to the monies paid by parents to the school, we monitored various expenses quite carefully throughout the year, doing our best to correctly allocate expenses into either teaching- and learning-related expenses such as those outlined in the school expenses documents or general school running costs such as utility bills, staff wages and cleaning and office supplies.
It was very clear that every euro paid by parents and guardians for school-related expenses were being spent on those teaching-related expenses. The general running costs of the school are being funded by Department of Education grants and rental income from after-school classes and evening activities. To reduce the amount being charged to parents each year would be counter-productive as we would then need to seriously increase the amount of fundraising activity being undertaken by the school. Fundraising activities involve a considerable amount of work for an amount of income that is not equivalent to that work. It is also uncertain income - we can't be sure of the amount that will come in for any given fundraiser. Finally, and quite importantly, families who are supported by charities in paying the annual school expenses are not supported in the same way for school fundraisers and so moving the emphasis onto fundraisers for such regular costs would put these already-disadvantaged families at a further disadvantage, which would be unfair.
Following this review, the Board of Management decided that there was no logical reason for changing the amount requested from parents, that, in fact, we are already charging the appropriate amount.
The other section of the school expenses document is the list of books and resources bought, some directly by parents and some via the school. The Board of Management of Citywest ETNS respects the professional role of the teachers in knowing the resources they need to teach the curriculum to the children. Our teachers undertook further review of the books and schemes used in the school, including reviewing practices in other schools. We learned that in many schools where workbooks are abolished, the amount of photocopying undertaken multiplies to an unwieldy level. On balance, some workbooks are necessary. We are proceeding with the use of Maths and Irish workbooks for the 2017/18 school year. We are not adding any further workbooks to the list for any class this year. We do continue to review the publications and schemes available each year and to choose those we consider most useful for our context.
As the school grows, the scope of our book rental and shared resources scheme increases and we are adding text books, reading books and other resources to our Resource library every term.
We thank all parents and guardians for their support of the book list and school expenses. We endeavour to keep costs as low as possible but we do need every family to pay their fair portion. Payment plans can be established for families who request them.