McKevitt welcomes Common Funding Scheme extension
South Down MLA Karen McKevitt has welcomed yesterday’s announcement by the Minister for Education that the consultation on the proposed Common Funding Scheme has been extended by one week.
McKevitt told Newry Times, “I am pleased that the Minister has extended the consultation period as this will provide an opportunity for schools and parents to participate in the consultation process on these new controversial funding proposals.
“The proposed new Common Funding Scheme will change how school funding is allocated and if implemented it could mean a significant change to the budget of many local schools.
“I agree with the need to improve education quality of low performing schools, many of which are in areas of social deprivation, but 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.
“I am very disappointed that the Department for Education only scheduled two public consultation meetings; one which took place in Omagh on the 9th October and Belfast on the 14th October,” the SDLP MLA explained.
“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.
McKevitt added, “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.
“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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