As the school year starts back, a local principal has expressed his anger at budget cuts that results in primary and nursery schools receiving £56 less per pupil.
Primary schools throughout the county are set to lose thousands of pounds compared to last year’s budget. Last year, the current cash value of primary and nursery school pupils was £2,061.21 but in 2017- 2018, this has been reduced to £2,004.71.
Brian McGrath, principal of St Martin’s Primary School, Garrison has said that the “impact of budget cuts will have a negative knock on effect on school life and on the education which we provide for children in the locality.”
“To have around £5,200 taken away will impact on the amount of money we can spend on resources to support learning in classrooms, the deployment of classroom assistants and purchasing transport to take children on educational trips.
“These are some of the practical day to day things which are essential to the learning experiences we provide. This is another attempt to hasten the closure of small schools.
For a small village like Garrison, the school is a vital component of everyday life.”
“Those making decisions based on funding formulas and budget projections should take a drive to Garrison to see that there are schools worth saving and communities which rely on them.
“It is in the balance whether we will survive the funding shortfalls of an overblown bureaucracy.”
UUP MLA Rosemary Barton also spoke out saying, ‘once again it is the children being hit by the chaos in Northern Ireland’s finances.’
“Since this announcement I have been contacted by a number of Principals in Fermanagh expressing their outrage that only days before schools come back from their summer break they received notification that their budgets would be far smaller than they expected.
“This will have an immediate impact on the quality of education which our young people will receive over the next school year together with staffing and other supports that add to the curriculum experience of the pupils.”
“Between last week’s swingeing health cuts and now this cut to front-line school services, it is clear the people being hit hardest by budgetary cuts are the most vulnerable. This is just the latest in a growing list of examples of why Northern Ireland needs accountable Ministers in place so that decisions such as these are not made.”
Posted: 1:55 pm September 9, 2017
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