McCrossan: Building delays will hold schools back

education budget daniel mccrossan

SDLP Education Spokesperson Daniel McCrossan has said that delays to new buildings for 28 post-primary schools across the North will have a significant impact.

He said the delays could lead to development plans at schools being held back for years.

The Department of Education has said the delays are due to budgetary pressures.

West Tyrone MLA Mr McCrossan said:

“Schools across the North will be hugely disappointed that work on their new buildings has been paused as a result of the funding issues impacting almost every facet of life here. Many of the schools have been waiting years for planning to begin on these new facilities and there is no guarantee of when this work will resume.

“I previously backed a call from the Construction Professionals’ Council of Northern Ireland for then Education Minister Michelle McIlveen to clarify the situation surrounding these schools and set out a timetable for progress, no answer was forthcoming and now unsurprisingly we have confirmation that we can’t expect any in the near future.

“I know from regular discussions with school leaders that far too many of our buildings across the North are badly out of date and unfit for purpose. Far too often principals, teachers and other staff are just having to make do with what they have, patching over issues and being unable to plan for the future without clarity around investment.

“If we want to provide the best educational experience for our young people then we need to provide modern facilities that enable them to reach their full potential. These delays cannot result in these vital projects being shelved indefinitely and when the Stormont institutions are restored I will make it a priority to ensure that the new Education Minister gets plans for these new buildings back on track.”

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