26/07/2017

Plans To Cut School Uniform Grant Reversed

A decision to cut the school uniform grant has been reversed, the Department of Education has confirmed.

Plans to cut the grant were announced earlier this month, however after concerns were raised the grant for the 2017/18 school year will remain the same as 2016.
News Image
A spokesperson for the Department of Education said: "This decision will allow the Education Authority to make payments to families at the existing rates. The Department continues to deal with major financial pressures and explore a range of measures which would allow it to live within the indicative 2017/18 budget. Following the Secretary of State's written statement last week on Northern Ireland departments' budget allocations, the Department has been able to finalise decisions on budget allocations across a range of programmes including deciding to maintain funding for the uniform allowance at current rates. The Department will be issuing allocation letters to relevant organisations in the coming days."

Sinn Féin MLA Karen Mullan welcomed the decision.

She said: "Sinn Féin opposed this cut since it was announced as it was an attack on children and families from low-income communities.

"We demanded that the Education Authority reverse this cut so I am delighted that it has now done so. 

"Our party leader in the north Michelle O’Neill stressed the unjust nature of this cut to the Interim Head of the Civil Service and why in her view it should be reversed immediately in order to afford families this critical assistance. 

"The school uniform grant is a vital resource for many families and makes a real impact on the lives of thousands of children.

"Sinn Féin Minister Caitriona Ruane introduced the primary school uniform grant and her successor John O'Dowd extended the criteria allowing thousands more pupils to benefit.

"This news will provide some reassurance to parents as the processing of applications normally takes place in August."

(CD)


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

30 May 2018
DUP Welcome Provision Of Additional School Places
The DUP has welcomed an announcement by the Department of Education that additional school places will be provided to both Bangor Academy and Strangford Integrated College.
05 December 2017
NI Primary School Pupils Among Best In The World For Reading
Northern Ireland pupils, aged between 9 - 10, are among the best readers in the world. NI has been ranked 6th in the world in a major international survey.
24 September 2019
Improvised Device Found At Belfast School
Police have blamed dissident republicans for "endangering the lives of children" by leaving an improvised weapon in the grounds of a north Belfast school. The weapon, which had the potential to fire a high calibre round, was uncovered during a security alert at Holy Cross Boys Primary School on Monday afternoon, 23 September.
16 September 2019
NI School Principals To Vote On Strike Action
A number of school principals in Northern Ireland are set to vote on strike action. The National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) union is balloting its members, including many local school heads, to gather support for industrial action. The ballot will be open for two weeks, closing on 30 September.
09 September 2019
Larne Primary School Evacuated
A primary school in County Antrim has been evacuated amid a suspected gas leak. Emergency services were called to Larne and Inver Primary School shortly before 11am this morning, Monday 09 September. A number of houses in the area of the Glynn Road were also evacuated and motorists advised to avoid the area if possible.