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School funding in crisis - Northern Ireland

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Schools are facing significant budget cuts which will be detrimental to all children in Northern Ireland. All primary and nursery schools are to receive at least £56 less per pupil this school year than in the previous school year 2016/17 and post primary schools are to lose at least £25 per pupil in real terms on 2016-17.

This is unacceptable. NAHT(NI) are undertaking a series of campaigning initiatives and events to ensure that politicians and senior civil servants are aware of the full implications of these cuts. We want to broaden our campaign beyond NAHT members and are seeking the support of parents and governors.

What we are campaigning for:

 1. More money must be put into the education budget overall

In the absence of an Assembly or a 2016-17 Stormont Budget, James Brokenshire, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland announced that, as a result of this year’s monitoring round, education would receive £30 million. In addition, it was widely announced that the deal between DUP and Conservatives would give an extra £50 million over two years to the education budget. This money would reverse the cuts previously alluded to in Brokenshire’s indicative budget. 

Despite such announcements, this money has not reached schools and it is unlikely to do so. The Education Authority has a significant gap in its budget that will swallow the additional funds. Sufficient funds must be given to school budgets to enable the delivery of education.

2. Schools must be given control over a greater share of the budget

The overall education budget is being sliced too thinly before it reaches schools and this imbalance must be addressed. Schools in Northern Ireland receive only 59% of the overall education budget. The rest, a growing amount , is channelled through centralised control via bodies such as the Education Authority, CCMS, CCEA and CSC.  Schools must be given greater control over their budgets so money can be properly channelled to the delivery of education for children.

3. A revision of the basic amount given to every child to sustain the real costs of a child’s education

As a result of an increase in the nursery/primary pupil numbers, primary school budgets have been spread ever more sparingly. In real terms, the AWPU has declined . In order to ensure children can continue to receive the excellent level of education they currently receive this must be addressed immediately.

Join our campaign to secure more funding

We are asking school communities to work together to highlight the impact the lack of funding is having now and to call for increased investment in the future.

  • Take to Twitter and Facebook and tell us why more money needs to be invested in Northern Irish schools using the hashtag #FundNIschools.