Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland schools funding slashed - children will suffer, warns principal

Northern Ireland schools are having to deal with a cut in pupil funding.

The BBC is reporting that primary schools are having to deal with a cut of £56 per pupil while secondary schools are facing a £15 reduction.

The Department of Education has been asked how many pupils will be affected and how much the cut is in total. It has yet to respond. However, latest government statistics show that there were almost 330,000 pupils in primary and secondary eduction.

A teacher at a Belfast primary school said the cut equalled around £30,000, but added pressures meant he was having to work with a £55,000 deficit for the coming year.

Jackie Wallace, principal of Stranmillis Primary School, said that was equivalent to two teachers' jobs.

"And that is not sustainable," he told the BBC.

"The children in the school are already working in classes of 30 and we cannot cut any more teachers from our school.

"If the funding does not come then either children are going to suffer, or as in our own school - and many others like - us we will refuse to implement the budget cuts and our budget deficit will grow."

Back in April school leaders in Northern Ireland protested that they are at a crisis point over funding with some principals saying they were being forced to consider refusing to adhere to their budgets.

Mr Wallace added: "We do not have sufficient funds to continue to provide the high level education that our country has always provided for our children."

The Department of Education has been asked for a comment. It did tell the BBC an increase in the number of primary school-aged pupils was partly to blame.

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