Patsy McGlone MLA for Mid Ulster

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Assembly Questions

Patsy McGlone 18th September 2017

McGlone: Education ‘pressures’ will fall hardest on children

SDLP MLA Patsy McGlone 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 McGlone said:

“Week in, week out, schools in this constituency 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 be. 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.

“My party colleagues and I have been campaigning at schools throughout our constituencies this week and Colin McGrath MLA has requested an urgent meeting with the Permanent Secretary to pursue these matters.

“We need empowered institutions with Ministerial leadership to deal with the financial crisis that’s about to come crashing down on schools and children.”