SDLP Education Spokesperson Daniel McCrossan has said that a proposed £200m in cuts by the Education Authority (EA) would devastate many children and their parents.
The EA has to find £200m in savings due to budgetary pressures.
Mr McCrossan said further cuts would continue to hurt the most vulnerable, including those with special educational needs (SEN).
West Tyrone MLA Mr McCrossan said:
“Schools across the North are in an impossible situation. Many families still face a struggle to obtain a school place for their child, long overdue maintenance has not been carried out in schools, staff are still being forced to take industrial action as they fight for a fair pay rise and important schemes to support vulnerable children and their families are being cut left, right and centre.
“Despite the best efforts of staff and the support of local communities many schools were already coming apart at the seams before these latest cuts imposed on us by the Tory government due to the DUP’s refusal to get back to work. We are now facing a situation where children are going hungry during the school holidays, where they can no longer avail of counselling when needed and now vitally important measures like school transport, youth services and support for those with SEN are next on the chopping block.
“Our children cannot become collateral damage for the political failure that continues to permeate this place. The reality is the Education Authority have no chance of making savings of this size without gutting our education system which will have catastrophic consequences for our children, their families, their futures and our society as a whole.
“We cannot stand by and watch as the quality of education across the North is decimated. Due to the efforts of our teachers and staff our children and young people punch well above their weight when it comes to academic achievement and we cannot allow decades of progress to be destroyed by the Tories and the DUP.”