O’Dowd welcomes increase to Education budget

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Tuesday, January 20th, 2015
Politics
Education Minister John O’Dowd has welcomed an increase to the education budget and outlined how some of the additional funding would be allocated.

Minister O’Dowd

Minister O’Dowd said, “I am committed to protecting and where possible enhancing frontline services in education. “I very much welcome the significant uplift to the education budget in the Executive’s Final Budget and I am keen to respond to the comments, suggestions and concerns voiced by the very many who took time to respond to the consultation process. “In light of this additional funding from the Executive and in reviewing the wider education budget, I am allocating an additional £80million to the Aggregated Schools Budget for 2015-16. “This funding will help ensure that schools can continue to deliver high quality education and enable them to plan according to their school’s needs and priorities. This means there is no reduction to schools’ delegated budgets.” Continuing, the Minister said, “I am also allocating £2.5million to the Pre-School education programme to restore the draft budget reduction. Pre-school education builds upon the learning that children experience at home and provides a rich variety of challenging play activities in a stimulating environment. “It is an essential stepping stone on a child’s educational journey and I am pleased to be able to invest further funds to the programme. I am also conscious of the valuable role of our youth services in supporting and encouraging our young people to reach their full potential. “Recognising the positive contribution our ELB youth services make to education, employability and life skills for young people, and to ensure that this important work can continue, I am allocating £2million to ELB youth services, again restoring the reduction made at draft budget stage,” he added.

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