Sliding Scale Tuition
Wicklow Democratic School is a registered Irish charity (CHY 22018). Because our school does not follow the state curriculum, we are not eligible for any state support. We are therefore entirely self-funded.
All income from tuition fees goes to the running of the school (rent, staff wages, utilities, insurance, materials etc.), as well as expanding the accessibility of the democratic education in Ireland. We aspire to be fully transparent about our charity’s finances and activities. We have endeavoured to make our fees system as fair and accessible as possible while ensuring that the school is financially sustainable.
Sliding Scale based on Income Assessment
Fee calculations based on a sliding scale allows us to achieve the following:
- Fairness: Make it affordable to families of all incomes to send their children to our
- Family-friendly: Offer generous sibling rates that make it easier for families to enroll
multiple children in our school.
- Sustainability: Ensure the financial viability of the school given that we receive no
support outside of tuition.
Gross Household Income (GHI)
GHI is the total combined income of the household before taxes are deducted. Each family’s tuition fees are calculated using their particular GHI figure. GHI excludes children’s allowance and certain other state allowances but includes social welfare payments such as unemployment assistance.
Income Distribution in Our School
In order to ensure that our school has enough funding to stay open, we need to maintain a certain distribution of income in our school community. Accordingly, we offer a certain number of spaces in each income level, and the number of spaces we offer is based on the distribution of GHI in Ireland.
We devised this system to ensure that the student body includes students from across the socioeconomic spectrum in Ireland. Enrolling a certain percentage of families from the higher income brackets means we can keep our fees for lower income families as low as possible and still be financially sustainable. At the same time, these percentages also serve as a limit preventing us from catering only to wealthier families in order to maximise our income.
When you submit your financial information along with your Enrollment Form, we will identify which grant bracket you are eligible for. In the event that all the grants in your income bracket have already been allocated, you can avail of the next grant up until a space becomes available.
- Annual tuition fees are calculated at 12% of your GHI for one child
- If you enrol a second child, the annual tuition for the sibling will be 6% of your GHI (or
- For each addition child enrolled after the second child, the annual tuition will be 1% of
- The minimum fee for one child is an annual tuition fee of €2,400
- The highest fee for one child is €8,000, and high income families have the option to donate to a bursary fund to subsidise tuition for lower income families.
A small number of families may qualify for further subsidies if payment of the minimum fee is not possible, and if the school budget allows for such subsidies in the relevant year.
Documentation regarding income
Before annual tuition fees are determined and approved of, families must provide the necessary documentation of their GHI, most likely in the form of a tax return or a social welfare statement. Families who do not wish to disclose income documentation will pay maximum fees.
When are fees payable?
- Fees are payable in advance, per term or annually.
- Payment for the two-week trial period must be submitted prior to starting the trial
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