21/01/2013

'Too Much Spent On Small Schools' - Panel

A review into the funding of schools in Northern Ireland has found that too much is being spent on keeping smaller schools open, while disadvantaged pupils are being neglected.

Education Minister John O'Dowd has welcomed the review.

In June 2012 the Minister appointed leading educationalist Sir Robert Salisbury to head an independent review of the Common Funding Scheme, which governs the funding of schools.

The independent panel recommended a new funding policy, along with financial incentives to encourage smaller schools to merge.

It said a simpler funding formula was needed.

It also said the amount of money going to pupils from socially disadvantaged backgrounds needed to be increased.

Mr O’Dowd said: "Since my appointment as Education Minister I have moved to ensure as much money as possible is directed to schools. Given the budget settlement the Executive was presented with, it is more important than ever to ensure we derive maximum benefit from the resources at our disposal.

"That is why I asked Sir Robert Salisbury to lead a review into the operation of the Common Funding Formula. I was not satisfied that the current scheme adequately supported my key policy objectives, in particular raising standards and targeting social need.

"I welcome today’s publication of the review and would like to thank Sir Robert and his team for their hard work. I will wish to consider the findings of the report in detail over the coming weeks before making decisions on the way ahead."


Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

20 March 2019
PM Requests Brexit Delay Until 30 June
Prime Minister Theresa May has confirmed that she has written to the European Union to request a three month delay to Brexit. The UK is due to leave the EU next Friday, 29 March, but the proposed delay would postpone this until 30 June.
06 July 2010
NI Schools Building Plan List Revealed
The Department of Education has revealed the full list of schools in Northern Ireland that have been approved or turned down for new building plans. A total of 34 out of 67 schools have been told they comply with policy.
05 June 2006
NI schools to receive £10 million boost
Northern Ireland schools are to receive a £10 million boost in funding. The money is part of an additional funding allocation made to Northern Ireland in the Chancellor’s Budget in March 2006, and will be given directly to schools as part of the Children and Young People Funding Package.
11 June 2013
£30m For Disadvantaged Pupils
Education Minister John O'Dowd has moved to provide £30m to specifically target schools teaching children from disadvantaged backgrounds over the next two years. The move is part of a pledge by the Minister to change the way schools are funded in order to benefit disadvantaged children.
04 December 2006
Government unveils plans for schools
Professor Sir George Bain today published the Report of the Independent Strategic Review of Education, containing detailed recommendations to Government on the future of Northern Ireland’s schools.