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Northern Ireland schools' repair bill at £400m, says education chief

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Education Authority Sara Long. Credit: Education Authority

Education Authority Sara Long. Credit: Education Authority

Education Authority Sara Long. Credit: Education Authority

The school maintenance backlog in Northern Ireland currently stands at £400m - the same amount of additional funding needed for education each year.

The stark figure was presented to the Stormont education committee on Wednesday by the Education Authority (EA).

One of its officials revealed the figure to committee chairperson, Alliance’s Chris Lyttle.

School maintenance is required to ensure all schools operate at a modern standard.

Mr Lyttle heard that the £400m cost equated to 1,600 schemes.

The figure comes just a week after Education Minister , Peter Weir warned that schools require an extra £400m per year.

This represents a 20% rise on the current annual education budget of around £2bn.

Sara Long, EA chief executive, also echoed Mr Weir’s comments, insisting the extra investment is required.

“The £400m is in order to continue the system as it is,” she added.

However, she added that for radical reform of the education system, “key policy changes are needed.”

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