‘Newry and Mourne schools facing financial uncertainty’ – McNulty

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Monday, April 3rd, 2017
Community, Politics
teacherSDLP Assembly Member for Newry and Armagh Justin McNulty has warned that local schools are being left in a very precarious financial situation because of the ongoing political failures at Stormont. Speaking to Newry Times, McNulty said, “I am deeply concerned about the grave financial circumstances many of our schools find themselves in.
  “This situation is only exacerbated by the ongoing political stalemate at Stormont. This is worrying and indeed frustrating for those involved in the management of our schools.
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25th March 2017“School Principals and Boards of Governors receive an annual budget allocation and budget statement which projects their spend for the next three years. It takes into consideration present and predicted enrolment and it allows those responsible for school planning and management to plan how they spend their resources.
  “However, over recent years, budgets have been dwindling and schools have been asked to foot the bill for more and more costs. This is proving very difficult for all schools, both large and small and is driving principals to the point of despair,” he insisted. “Schools would normally have received their Local Management of Schools (LMS) budget statement by now, but this hasn’t happened as an outcome of the Stormont impasse.
  “First schools were told it was delayed because of the Assembly Election and that it would have to wait until a new Administration took power but now that Stormont is in deadlock, this has been delayed even further. This is completely unacceptable. The local MLA continued, “Principals have been telling me of how some schools had hoped to release some longer serving teachers through the Investing in the Teaching Workface initiative, however this is now being legally challenged and has been postponed.
  “Furthermore, given the pressures on budgets some principals are forced to make redundancies, both in teaching and non-teaching roles. This is destabilising schools and threatening the education of our young people.
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25th March 2017 Box AdvertMcNulty added, “Those currently working to find political agreement at Stormont must not lose touch with reality. Real services are beings stripped, schools are under real pressure while the political vacuum persists. School children are paying the price for political uncertainty.”
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