‘Make your voice heard on Common Funding Schemes reform,’ urges McKevitt
MLA for South Down Karen McKevitt is calling on all parents with children in nursery schools, primary schools and post primary schools to participate in a public consultation launched by the Minister for Education John O Down back in June 2013.
The consultation “Putting Pupils First – Reforming the Common Funding Scheme” is a review of the funding formula currently used when the Department for Education and the Education and Library Board allocates funds to schools.
McKevitt said, “The proposed new Common Funding Scheme will change how school funding is allocated and I am calling on parents to take notice and get involved in the consultation process as it could mean a significant change to the budget of the school which their children attend.
“While I agree with the need to improve education quality of low performing schools, many of which are in areas of social deprivation, this should not be at the expense of other schools that are performing well under already tight budget restraints. We need a more balanced approach.
The SDLP MLA continued, “I am very disappointed that the Department for Education only scheduled two public consultation meetings; one which is to takes place in Omagh on the 9th October and Belfast on the 14th October.
“Unfortunately there was no meeting arranged for the Southern regional area to allow wider public participation in this consultation. I am particularly keen for parents, and indeed future parents, to have their say on how funding is allocated to schools but the consultation is open to absolutely everyone and the wider community should also participate.
“I know that every school I have been in touch with will also be submitting a consultation response. The consultation period ends on the 18th October so it is imperative that response forms are sent in before the looming deadline.
“The consultation proposals can be viewed on the Department of Education website and people can opt to print a written response form or complete a response online by setting up an account which only takes a minute.
McKevitt added, “For anyone who doesn’t have access to the internet a hard copy of the consultation proposals and response form can be requested from the Common Funding Implementation Team, Department of Education, Rathgael House, 43 Balloo Road, Rathgill, Bangor BT19 7PR Telephone number 028 9127 9279.”
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