'No extra money' for schools in budget

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'No extra money' for schools in budget

Primary school children in a classroom

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The Department of Education said it will not be able to fund additional pressures facing schools in 2018-19.

Schools have been told that there is no money to pay for additional pressures they may face this year.

The warning comes in a letter from the finance director at the Department of Education, Gary Fair.

Mr Fair has written to schools following the 2018-19 budget announcement on 8 March.

“The outcome for education is challenging and some very difficult decisions have had to be taken,” he said.

‘Take immediate action’

“While the department has been able to maintain the total schools budget in cash terms at £1,167.5m, it has not been possible to fund the additional pressures facing schools in 2018-19.”

“In addition, all schools’ budgets must be managed on the assumption that there will be no further in-year allocations from the department during 2018-19.”

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The finance director at the Department of Education has sent a letter to schools informing them of the strict budget

Individual schools have now been told what their budget will be for the coming year.

However, Mr Fair said their budgets would be calculated on a similar basis to 2017-18.

In January, BBC News NI revealed that more than 600 schools were unable to stay within their allocated budgets this year.

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School principals have previously warned that if extra funding is not found there could be redundancies

In his letter, Mr Fair warned that schools would need to “take immediate action to review your school’s budget position, to enable difficult decisions to be taken now to ensure that you live within your allocation for 2018-19”.

“I fully appreciate the difficulties that this budget outcome will mean for schools, and I do not underestimate the challenges ahead,” he concluded.

Source: BBC News – Northern Ireland

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