NI: ‘No extra money’ for schools in budget

CREDIT: This story was first seen in BBC News

Schools have been told that there is no money to pay for additional pressures they may face this year, BBC News reports.

The warning comes in a letter from the finance director at the Department of Education, Gary Fair.

Mr Fair has written to schools following the 2018-19 budget announcement on March 8.

“The outcome for education is challenging and some very difficult decisions have had to be taken,” he said.

“While the department has been able to maintain the total schools budget in cash terms at £1,167.5m, it has not been possible to fund the additional pressures facing schools in 2018-19.”

“In addition, all schools’ budgets must be managed on the assumption that there will be no further in-year allocations from the department during 2018-19.”

Individual schools have now been told what their budget will be for the coming year.

However, Mr Fair said their budgets would be calculated on a similar basis to 2017-18.

In January, BBC News NI revealed that more than 600 schools were unable to stay within their allocated budgets this year.

In his letter, Mr Fair warned that schools would need to “take immediate action to review your school’s budget position, to enable difficult decisions to be taken now to ensure that you live within your allocation for 2018-19”.

“I fully appreciate the difficulties that this budget outcome will mean for schools, and I do not underestimate the challenges ahead,” he concluded.

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