McCrossan: Schools can’t be left in the cold this winter

education schools daniel mccrossan cost of living heating

SDLP West Tyrone MLA Daniel McCrossan has said schools across the North require extra support to pay their heating bills.

It comes after the Department of Education said schools are facing an estimated 60% rise in energy costs.

Mr McCrossan said it was imperative that support is provided quickly to ensure schools can heat their classrooms this winter.

West Tyrone MLA Mr McCrossan said:

“I have been warning about the impact the cost of living emergency is having on our schools and this estimated 60% spike in energy bills brings home the scale of the challenge that they are facing to keep pupils and staff warm this winter.

“It is abhorrent that we are facing a situation where some pupils could be leaving cold homes to travel to a cold school, but given the huge financial pressures our education system was under prior to this crisis I don’t see any way that the majority can meet these costs. The impact this will have on pupils and staff can't be overestimated and will significantly impact children's education and staff's ability to teach.

“The department has said 'it is anticipated' schools will get support from the UK government, but this provides little comfort or clarity to our school principals who will be receiving these eyewatering bills. Schools need to know what support is going to be put in place to heat their classrooms this winter and they need to know now.

“We are almost in October and we are still none the wiser about the majority of support that will be provided to not just our education sector, but to everyone in the North. We would be in a much better position if the Education Minister’s party ended their boycott of our institutions and we could put support measures in place ourselves, rather than waiting at the behest of a British government currently mired in an unthinkable disaster entirely of their own making.”


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