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Bray fee-paying school St Gerard’s posts loss of more than €600,000 last year

Deficit follows loss of almost €570,000 in the previous 12-month period

St Gerard’s School, the fee-paying coeducational school in Bray, Co Wicklow, made a loss of more than €600,000 last year, according to its yearly financial statements.

A note in the school’s directors’ report, accompanying the financial statements for the year ending in July 2023, said that school running costs increased materially last year due to inflation and public sector pay increases under the Building Momentum agreement.

The €643,522 deficit follows a loss of €569,952 at the school in the previous 12-month period.

Staff costs increased considerably during the year. The wage and salary bill rose from €3,363,665 in 2021-22 to €3,761,150 in 2022-23. Added social welfare and pension costs also increased the employee bill.


In total, the school paid €4,303,155 in staffing costs in the year to July 2023, a 12.5 per cent increase on the previous year.

The monthly average number of employees — including directors — rose to 105 last year, up from 97.

The total income rose by more than €500,000 to €7,719,848. This figure includes any grants received from the Department of Education.

Along with student fees, private schools generate income through funding from the department. In 2022, the department provided €112 million in funding to private schools across the country, the bulk of which was spent on salaries for staff.

Direct costs at St Gerard’s came in at €4,886,225 in 2022-23, with administrative expenses at €3,335,285. A fall in the value of the school’s financial assets, a loss of €141,860, was also accounted for in the income and expenditure account.

After last year’s deficit, the total funds available to St Gerard’s was €32,969,683, accounting for its tangible and financial assets, and current assets, including its campus outside Bray.

A note on the recent accounts indicates that the school’s board of directors “have a reasonable expectation that the school has adequate resources to continue in operational existence for the foreseeable future”.

St Gerard’s was contacted for comment on its financial statements.

It raised fees for the 2023-24 academic year to €8,169, an increase of 5 per cent. The school caters for pupils from Montessori to Leaving Certificate level.

The senior, or second-level, school had 590 students last year, according to the directors’ report. The junior school had an enrolment of 249 and 39 children attended the Montessori.

Fiachra Gallagher

Fiachra Gallagher

Fiachra Gallagher is an Irish Times journalist