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
“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
“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.”