McGrath: School funding cut will narrow opportunity

SDLP Education Spokesperson Colin McGrath MLA said he was shocked to learn that funding under the entitlement framework is to be cut by almost half.

Mr McGrath met with the Permanent Secretary of the Department of Education last week to discuss pressures as a result of the failure to re-establish the institutions.
He said:

McGrath: School funding cut will narrow opportunity“The Entitlement Framework has driven collaboration between post primary schools and with Further Education colleges. Sharing resources and expertise has benefitted pupils, teachers and school communities across the North. This cut is part of a bean counting exercise that doesn’t reflect the value of this kind of work.

“I met with the Permanent Secretary of the Department of Education only last week to discuss budgetary pressures and the financial landscape in the absence of power sharing institutions. I’m therefore surprised that this impending cut wasn’t mentioned in those discussions.

“There have been a number of poor decisions taken within Education in the absence of Ministerial direction. Clearly those decisions need to be communicated to elected representatives in a much better way. But this again underscores the urgent need to establish power sharing institutions to avert a crisis in school funding.

“It is disingenuous in the extreme to blame this on others – parties here need to use their mandates to form an inclusive administration that tackles these very issues. The public won’t accept more buck passing.”