8 Nov

Parentkind NI Parent Survey 2018

Parentkind NI Parent Survey 2018Parentkind’s Survey of Parents in Northern Ireland was conducted for the first time this year to give a more robust picture of the views of parents in the region. Many of the topics covered mirror what we have been tracking more broadly through our Annual Parent Survey (APS); however, not only is our sample of parents living in Northern Ireland much larger (1,071 respondents) than the one we polled through the APS, but some of the questions and key demographic breaks have been modified to reflect the specific context of Northern Ireland.

Key findings
The survey found that over two thirds (68%) of parents say they have been asked by their school to contribute to the school fund*, with a monthly average donation of £9.83 being made. Despite this, nearly three quarters (72%) of respondents say they do not know, or are not sure, of how this money is being spent.


1 Nov

These are the 15 schools that could benefit from Hammond’s £300m

These are the 15 schools that could benefit from Hammond's £300m

Fifteen schools could benefit from the £300million Westminster has released for shared and integrated education in Northern Ireland.

The money is part of half a billion that was promised to cross-community education and housing projects under the 2015 Fresh Start Agreement.

£100m had already been paid to the Department of Education from 2016 – but £91m was returned to the Treasury earlier this year because the Department of Education (DE) failed to spend it.

Now joint education groups are urging the DE to use the £300m for 15 projects waiting on the green light for two years.

Northern Ireland education system “coming close to a tipping point”, it is warned

Integrated Education Fund chief Tina Merron said: “We welcome the announcement that the government will move forward with projects worth £300 million as part of their commitment in the Fresh Start Agreement.

“Currently there are 15 integrated schools across NI that have been waiting for more than two years for proposals to progress.”


31 Oct

Primary school head tells Northern Ireland politicians to ‘stop playing pathetic games’

Primary school head tells Northern Ireland politicians to ‘stop playing pathetic games’Four school principals gave evidence to the Northern Ireland Affairs committee at Westminster on Wednesday.

A primary school principal has urged Northern Ireland’s politicians to “set aside petty squabbles” and “stand up for children”.

Graham Gault, head of Maghaberry Primary School in Moira, Co Armagh, said there is “no more time for our politicians to play pathetic games”.

Mr Gault was one of four school principals who gave evidence to the Northern Ireland Affairs Select Committee at Westminster on Wednesday.

The committee is carrying out an inquiry into education funding in Northern Ireland.

Committee chairman Andrew Murrison said in the absence of a Northern Ireland Executive the committee was probing matters that would normally be devolved.


30 Oct

Extra £300 million for shared and integrated education in Northern Ireland

Extra £300 million for shared and integrated education in Northern IrelandShared and integrated cross-community education programmes in Northern Ireland are to receive an extra £300 million following Monday’s Budget, the Chancellor said.

Fifteen schools projects to free up more places across the country could be progressed, integrated education authorities said.

The money is part of a previously-announced commitment made by the UK Government following the Stormont Fresh Start Agreement with the main local political parties.

Integrated Education Fund chief executive Tina Merron welcomed the draw down of extra cash from Westminster coffers.
She said: “Fifteen integrated schools around Northern Ireland have been waiting for more than two years for proposals to progress, and we look forward to seeing these projects now being able to move forward so that more families can access places in integrated education.”


24 Oct

Primary school sports coaching government funding ends

TPrimary school sports coaching government funding endshe Department of Education (DE) has confirmed that funding for the schools curriculum sports programme is to end.

The scheme provided primary schools with a coach from either the GAA or Irish Football Association (IFA), employing more than 50 coaches.

The DE said it could not make further funding available due to “pressures on the education budget”.

It also said it had approached other executive departments to find money for the programme without success.

The curriculum sports programme was introduced in schools in 2007.


10 Oct

Primary school principals warn of funding crisis

Primary school principals warn of funding crisisPrimary school principals in Londonderry have warned of the “profoundly negative impact” of budget cuts in a joint letter to parents.

The letter was sent home with pupils across the city on Tuesday.

It warns of a “crisis in education” and of cuts to staff numbers, increased class sizes and longer waiting lists for special educational needs services.

School heads also urge Northern Ireland’s politicians to return to government.