McCrossan: Tackling educational underachievement requires funding

education daniel mccrossan Educational underachievement

SDLP Education Spokesperson Daniel McCrossan has said it will be impossible to tackle educational underachievement without significant funding.

He was speaking after the publication of a progress report into the ‘A Fair Start’ report action plan.

The report showed that just £2.5m funding was allocated to the project, with £21m recommended by the expert panel behind the report.

West Tyrone MLA Mr McCrossan said:

“The Fair Start report was commissioned to address long-term problems around educational underachievement across Northern Ireland. A panel of experts came together and produced an excellent report, putting forward a comprehensive plan to deal with these issues and change the educational outcomes for a generation of children and young people.

“While I acknowledge that some progress has been made in implementing the recommendations of the report, the fact remains that unless the amount of money allocated to this project is drastically increased we will fail to properly tackle the issues emerging from the report and will miss an important opportunity to give each and every child the best chance of achieving their academic potential.

“The financial pressures at Stormont are disproportionally impacting our children and young people and after the work that went into this report to only allocate 8.4% of the funding asked for is unbelievable. Any further delay on providing the funding required will only result in kicking this can down the road where it will undoubtedly become more expensive to make the changes necessary to tackle academic underachievement.

“Our children cannot continue to pay the price for the political failure that permeates this place, with the Tory government proving repeatedly it cares little about the impact it’s having on communities here. Everyone knows that we can only address these problems with an Executive and Minister in place who will take the drastic action required to provide extra funding to our education sector so that we can finally address this underachievement and ensure every child gets the support they need.”

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