Further to the letter from the Department of Education issued this week regarding the budget position for 2018/19 and the share for each school, concerns are being raised with CSSC that, despite their best efforts, schools will continue to struggle to balance their books within their budget allocation this year.
CSSC Chief Executive Barry Mulholland commented,
“There has been a rise in costs, for example for heat, light and other required spend but the reality is the school budgets have been cash flat for the past number of years.
“We acknowledge that the finance for education is finite, but the reality is our education system requires proper investment after year on year decreases in real terms on school budgets.
“Controlled schools are already working in difficult financial circumstances to provide the essential curriculum to enable over 140,600 children and young people to meet their potential.
“Education must continue to be valued and given the priority it deserves across all government departments; after all, our schools are educating the next generation.
“CSSC’s research has shown that the reductions thus far have led to larger class sizes and teacher severance, plus cutbacks to educational resources, extracurricular activities and provision for pupils with specialist needs within controlled schools.
“All of this impacts on the quality of education offered in schools and directly on the learning experiences of children and young people.
“It is widely recognised that a significant transformation strategy is needed for education. However the reality is that the legislative requirements and existing service delivery structures continue, in which case sufficient funds are required to support schools, teaching and learning.”