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Principals warn they will refuse to make more budget cuts

A group of 43 primary school principals have signed a letter saying they were now preparing for deficits

SCHOOL principals have said they will refuse to make any budget cuts that affect children's education.

A group of 43 primary school principals have signed a letter saying they were now preparing for deficits.

Secretary of State James Brokenshire this week indicated that a Stormont budget he would impose would cut 2.5 per cent from the education pot - a loss of around £50 million.

Debts are already soaring with schools predicted to be £75 million in the red in the next three years.

Unions have warned that the cuts will mean schools will find it impossible to maintain their high quality of education.

Many schools say they are stretched to the limit, and any new cuts will have profound consequences with teachers and support staff facing redundancy.

Less money also means larger class sizes and fewer books and basic resources.

Now, head teachers in Belfast have written to parents, education bodies and politicians warning they will not make any further cuts.

"To be clear, we are not asking merely for the 2.5 per cent cut announced by the secretary of state to be reversed; this in itself will still result in inadequate budgets that, if implemented will have a direct and extremely negative impact on all our pupils," the principals said.

"We will not facilitate any further cuts to our school budgets that will have lasting impacts on our pupils' education and well-being; and consequently, we will be planning for deficit budget positions within the next three year plan, with most schools expecting deficits within year one.

"This is an unprecedented move on our part. Never before have we seen such a dire budget. If substantial increases in funding are not realised, all our children will be very negatively and significantly affected."

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