Northern Ireland news

Sinn Féin: School GAA and soccer coaching schemes to be cut despite extra money

Soccer and Gaelic games coaching schemes in schools are to be hit by cuts, Sinn Féin has said

SPORTS coaching and educational support schemes in schools are to be cut despite extra money for education, Sinn Féin has said.

The Department of Education confirmed earlier this week that proposed cuts to the school uniform grant have been scrapped after Secretary of State James Brokenshire announced extra money in the budget.

However, Sinn Féin's education spokeswoman Karen Mullan said during a meeting yesterday, senior department officials said cuts to other services would go ahead.

The Foyle MLA said the sports development grant, which helps fund Gaelic games and soccer coaching schemes in schools, and the extended school programme, which gives support to children from deprived communities, will be cut.

"This would impact on GAA and IFA coaching schemes and could affect up to 50 jobs, 400 schools and approximately 40,000 children," she said.

She said the party was also concerned that anti-bullying legislation approved by the assembly last year had been delayed.

The department said the law will not be in place by the beginning of the new school year in September, Ms Mullan said.

"The department has had a full year to provide the guidance and training needed and not to have done so is simply unacceptable and a major let down to the victims of bullying," she said.

The department had not responded to a request for comment last night.

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