McCrossan: Loss of funding for disadvantaged schools shameful

education daniel mccrossan

SDLP Education Spokesperson Daniel McCrossan has branded the loss of funding for schools in disadvantaged areas as absolutely shameful.

The Department of Education has said that funding is no longer available due to budgetary pressures.

Around 500 schools will be affected, with over £9m provided through the scheme during the last financial year.

West Tyrone MLA Mr McCrossan said:

“It seems that barely a week goes by without an absolutely crushing announcement from the Department of Education about funding being withdrawn from schools impacting vital schemes to help vulnerable and disadvantaged children.

“We have already seen the withdrawal of funding to support holiday hunger payments, counselling for pupils who are struggling with their mental health, schemes to give free books to babies and now disadvantaged schools will no longer receive this money that was used to pay for everything from after-school clubs to breakfasts for pupils.

“How can we expect our young people to reach their full potential if they lose access to important parts of the education system, if they are unable to get help when they’re struggling or if they aren’t eating properly due to the financial pressures facing families across the North? That is the reality of these decisions and I am gravely concerned about what this means for our children.

“Our education system was barely functioning before this latest crisis hit and it’s a disgrace that civil servants are being tasked with taking these decisions due to the DUP’s continued boycott of the Stormont institutions. I have heard a number of suggestions that the party are considering returning to Stormont in the weeks or months ahead, decisions like this are taking place every day that the Assembly and Executive doesn’t function and we need MLAs back at work and Ministers in place now to stand up for our children and to resist these harmful cuts to our education system.”

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