Education news

Parent poll reveals true cost of education funding shortfalls

Two-thirds of parents said they had been asked to contribute to a 'school fund'

TWO-thirds of parents say pressure on school budgets is having a negative impact on their child's education.

A survey of 1,000 parents and carers found people were being asked to pay for sports days or school clubs which used to be free.

Research by the charity Parentkind also showed two in every three had been asked to contribute to a school fund, with a monthly average donation of £9.83 made.

Despite this, nearly three quarters said they did not know, or were not sure of, how this money was being spent.

More than one quarter (27 per cent) of those polled claimed they had been asked to pay to attend school events such as sports days. The same percentage reported their schools had reduced the number of classroom assistants and support staff.

Other cost-cutting measures included increased class sizes and a reduction in the number of subjects on offer.

Jayne Thompson, Northern Ireland Programme Manager at Parentkind, said it was clear that parents were concerned about and felt the impact of funding shortfalls in their child's school.

"To avoid the risk of these pressures falling disproportionately on those least able to pay, schools and parents should redouble their efforts to work together in PTAs and build on their successful legacy of supporting every child to learn and thrive," she said.

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