Education news

Head teachers urge action to `save schools'

Many schools are already struggling to stay in the black

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SCHOOL leaders are demanding immediate political intervention "to save our education system".

The NAHT union, which is holding its annual conference in Newcastle, said budgets are in crisis.

Many schools are struggling to stay in the black and they have been warned to urgently review their budgets and make "difficult decisions" after learning there is no extra money coming.

Although this year's education pot has increasing by 4.3 per cent, this is only when compared to last year's baseline budget. An extra £80m was found later in the year.

Principals will today outline the impact of the funding crisis on their schools.

NAHT vice-president Chris Scott, principal of Seagoe PS, said the situation is unacceptable.

"The education budget is currently in crisis. The situation has worsened in recent months and our members are extremely concerned that despite rising pupil numbers, school budgets have not received investment reflective of this increasing demand," he said.

"Schools in Northern Ireland are being forced to cut staff, introduce larger class sizes, reduce support for special educational needs and put further pressure on parents to subsidise resources."

Without immediate intervention, he added, the education of thousands of pupils is at risk.

"In light of the severity of the situation at hand, we would urge politicians and key decision makers in government, to secure increased funding for the education sector and to work with school leaders to ensure that current funding can be better targeted to benefit our pupils," he said.

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