SDLP Education Spokesperson Colin McGrath MLA has said that mounting pressures on the education budget will lead to cuts that disproportionately affect children most in need.
Speaking after the Department of Education Permanent Secretary confirmed to the SDLP that ‘cost pressures’ amount to more than £100m, Mr McGrath said: “Week in, week out, schools across the North are facing savage cuts that will seriously hamper their ability to deliver the highest standard in education that our young people deserve.
“The Permanent Secretary in the Department of Education has now confirmed to us that ‘cost pressures’ facing this year’s budget amount to over £100m. That is a significant and unsustainable cut that will be passed on to schools, nurseries and youth services.
“Children most in need will be deprived of breakfast clubs, homework support and parents will be denied additional support that is vital to so many.
“We have to decide what kind of a society we want to live in. One that looks after and supports our children to pursue their highest ambitions or one that watches, unmoved, as the attainment gap widens while the best do well and those who need more support go without.
“I have requested an urgent meeting with the Permanent Secretary to discuss these pressures.”
“We need empowered institutions with Ministerial leadership to deal with the financial crisis that’s about to come crashing down on schools and children.”