Justin McNulty: backlog into school maintenance “disastrous”

SDLP release:

SDLP MLA Justin McNulty has expressed his astonishment at the scale of the backlog in school maintenance across Northern Ireland.

Of the £400 Million maintenance programmed, £90 Million of that is deemed as critical. The figures were revealed to Mr McNulty during a presentation to the Education Committee, by the Education Authority’s Chief Executive and Senior Management Team.

Justin McNulty: backlog into school maintenance “disastrous”Mr McNulty said, ‘School Principals are crying out for investment in our school estate, even for basic maintenance. When I pressed the officials today I was gobsmacked to learn of the scale of the backlog of works needed. When pressed it was confirmed there is a backlog of £400million and of that £90million is deemed as critical works. This is astonishing and urgent action is required.’

‘Officials explained that those works can range from painting and redecoration works to more critical works such as rewiring or electrical works and heating improvements, to urgent health and safety works. School Principals are telling me locally of their frustration at the length of time it takes to get what they deem as urgent works completed and have expressed concern that sometimes those works are not done at all.’

‘Our school estate must be fit for purpose. Children deserve to be taught in a modern, safe and appropriate environment. Teachers and staff deserve to be work in safe environment with the resources they need.’

‘At my request, Departmental Officials have been asked to appear before the Committee in the very near future. I want detail on the extent of the backlog and what plans are being put in place to carry out the most urgent works and to clear the backlog.’