Schools’ financial position ‘unfair’

The Controlled Schools’ Support Council (CSSC) has today, Thursday 25 January, described the financial situation faced by many schools as unfair, given the cuts they have been required to make in an effort to stay within budget.


Chief Executive Barry Mulholland said, 

CSSC officers have been contacted by many controlled school principals who this week received a letter from the Education Authority stating that their budgets for 2017-2020 have not been approved. 

Principals have voiced serious concerns with us regarding this letter and the implications for their schools, staff and pupils. 

Many controlled schools find themselves in unsustainable financial position despite working diligently to contain their expenditure within the allocation received.

Many of the schools find the decision not to approve their budget unfair.  We have been told that schools are becoming overspent this year as a result of being denied access by EA to their accrued surpluses.

Schools find it hard to understand how this remains an issue given an additional £8m was allocated by DE to the EA last week and earmarked specifically to cover surpluses. 

Principals are asking how many of the 632 schools with unapproved budgets have surpluses and if so, how can they be deemed to be overspent. 

CSSC fully appreciates that the financial envelope for education is under extreme pressure, but we need to work together to support schools, teaching and learning. 

We are seeking an urgent meeting with the Education Authority to clarify the situation.

Barry Mulholland added, 

Controlled school principals have told us it simply is not possible to make any more cuts without impacting on core activities and the quality of teaching and learning in the classroom.  The curricular offer is starting to be affected. 

There is also a knock-on impact on mental health and wellbeing of both Principals and school staff, with the worry that redundancies are becoming ever more present. 

I would urge all leaders in education to sit down and work together to try and find a way forward.


25 January 2018