Ulster Unionist Party MLA Roy Beggs Jnr has urged schools in his East Antrim constituency to respond to the Department of Education’s proposal to change the way schools are funded through the Common Funding Formula. The Department of Education is currently consulting on proposed changes to how they calculate annual school budgets.
Mr Beggs said:
“The consultation period for the proposed changes to funding for schools ends this Friday, and I would encourage all Schools to respond. The negative impact which these projected changes would have on most local school budgets is of real concern. The vast majority would see their budgets cut dramatically, in many cases losing between £5,000-£10,000. Some schools are losing even more.
The Ulster Unionist my Party fully recognises that a new funding model may be necessary in order to tackle the correlation between poor educational attainment and social deprivation. However, we believe that the current proposals are deeply flawed and will simply fix one problem by creating a much bigger one. It is robbing Peter to pay Paul.
The vast majority of schools, and almost all primary schools in East Antrim stand to lose out if the proposal is implemented, and there is bound to be consequences in terms of staffing numbers, and even on the continued viability of some schools. I do not see how this proposal can survive an Equality Impact Assessment and in my response to the consultation that is a point which I am emphasising.”
The modeling for this year’s budgets reveal that schools affected would include Larne High School losing £ 23,942 from its budget, Greenisland Primary losing £19,883, Victoria Primary losing £15,650, St Anthony’s Larne losing £17,767 and Whiteabbey Primary School losing £20,565.”