One of the country’s most exclusive boys schools, Glenstal Abbey in Limerick, last year recorded a €4m income as the number of students attending increased again.
The first set of accounts ever to be filed by a new company, Glenstal Abbey School Ltd which operates the school, show there was a modest surplus of €1,225 after an expenditure of nearly €4.1m for the 12 months to the end of June.
The school counts Web Summit founder Paddy Cosgrove as a past pupil.
Parents looking to enrol their sons in the school have to stump up €17,950 for those availing of the seven-day boarding package. Annual day board fees total €10,600.
In spite of the hefty charges, the number of students attending the school continue to increase.
Principal Fr William Fennelly said yesterday that 244 students are enrolled for next September.
This represents an increase of six on the 235 that enrolled last September, and the 221 that enrolled in 2014.
The school takes on an average of 40 first years every September.
The school only introduced day boarders in 2012. They now make up one third of the school population, contributing over €800,000 in fees for this year.
Any surplus profits from the school firm are donated to the Glenstal Abbey Trust.
Asked to comment on the upsurge in demand for school places, Fr Fennelly said: “The recent addition of day boarding has opened the school to a new constituency of people who hadn’t previously thought of Glenstal for their sons.”
Fr Fennelly said the demand is also linked to the academic reputation of the school, allied to the much-improved facilities.
He said the day boarders come from Limerick, Clare, and Tipperary, alongside a small but significant number from overseas.
Fr Fennelly said the school is now proposing to focus on adding further sports facilities and to increase residential capacity to meet demand.
The most recent Department of Education figures, for the 2012/13 academic year, show that the department provided the school with payments towards teachers’ salaries of €745,543 that year.
On monies received from the department, Fr Fennelly said: “We receive a reduced salary allocation from the Department of Education at a less favourable ratio than other schools so we receive department salaries on a 23 students for every teacher ratio, unlike other schools who have a ratio of 18 students per teacher and other more yet favourable ratios also exist.”
He added: “In essence we provide good value for the Irish taxpayer in that our levels of attainment are achieved for less Department of Education money than most other schools.”
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