SDLP representatives met with principals from a range of sectors to hear, first hand, the impact that the school budget crisis is having in classrooms across the North.
SDLP Education spokesperson Colin McGrath MLA said:
“It has been clear to us for some time that we’re on the brink of a significant crisis in school budgets that will have a severe negative impact on our children’s education. That’s why we met with principals from a range of sectors to hear their concerns and their experience of managing the substantial reductions forced on their schools by the ongoing political paralysis.
“Principals and teachers are under a huge deal of stress and strain because of budget pressures. The scale of savings being forced cannot be made in many schools without compromising, in a very serious way, the quality of education our children receive. The shocking and scary reality is that unless this is immediate intervention schools will be faced with decisions to cut staff, default on bills and limit the educational opportunities of young people.
“This is a time for political parties and civic society to unite, fight and resist the cuts to school budgets. We cannot allow a situation where we are balancing the books on the backs of our children. We should be investing in education, supporting schools and striving to build on the sterling educational experience our children receive here, rather than putting it at risk.
“We have already requested a further urgent meeting with the Permanent Secretary and will be making our concerns know in writing to all Party Leaders. In the coming days and weeks, the SDLP will be holding a series of meetings with school leaders locally and campaigning for all political parties to unite to find a way forward. Our children must not, cannot, pay the price for political failure.”
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