ASCL NI comment on Stormont budget

Robert Wilson, Regional Officer at ASCL Northern Ireland, comments on today’s announcement of Stormont’s budget for 2023-24, which shows education funding will be cut.
“Today’s budget is extremely worrying for pupils and teachers in Northern Ireland. With inflation and energy costs at sky-high levels, schools are under huge financial pressure. The Department of Education has already been cutting services in order to save money, including payments to help low-income families feed children during the school holidays. Anything other than a significant funding boost would have ensured these struggles will continue, but to actually reduce the education budget is unfathomable and will necessitate further cuts to provision.

“The majority of teachers have been on strike this week as part of a long-running industrial dispute and, faced with real-terms pay cuts and ever-increasing workloads, graduates are turning away from careers in education. Schools are facing a funding crisis which is already severe and is set to get worse. Without this issue being addressed there is a real danger of schools being unable to deliver the educational provision that children and young people deserve.”