Financial pressures place schools on the cusp of crisis
Mrs Kelly said:
“Today’s announcement from principals, school governors and finance managers reveals the scale of the funding crisis that has been barrelling down the line for months with no intervention from the Department of Education. It’s right that school leaders have taken a stand against the onslaught of austerity that they have been strong-armed into.
“I raised this issue with the Education Minister over a month ago. His spin simply doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. The Department continues to claim the aggregated schools budget has been cut by 0.8%. But the problem is ten times worse than that. Incredibly, the Minister refused on several occasions to acknowledge the crippling effect that passing on additional staff costs will have to bottom lines. It amounts to an 8% real terms cut to budgets that are already at breaking point.
“The ‘Fresh Start’ agreement managed to find £700m to slash civil servant jobs. Now that the Head of the Civil Servant has lifted the bar on recruitment, surely an indication that no further voluntary redundancies are likely to take place, some of the £300m or so which is estimated to be left in that fund should be used to ensure schools don't have to fund the Department's central liabilities.”