DUP unveils plans to tackle schools funding crisis

The DUP has launched a series of proposals aimed at tackling the current schools funding crisis.

Thursday, 21st March 2019, 4:04 pm
Updated Thursday, 21st March 2019, 4:06 pm
Peter Weir MLA

The party’s ‘Frontline First’ document – a list of 13 proposed policies and actions – is described as a “route map to get schools’ finance back on an even keel.”

The proposals include reform of the current schools estate, ring-fenced resource expenditure, a reduction in the day-to-day administrative burden on teachers and schools and earlier intervention to help pupils with special needs.

Launching ‘Frontline First’, DUP education spokesperson Peter Weir MLA said: “Government has a key responsibility to ensure our children are given the best start and the chance to develop to their full potential. Education is key to unlocking that potential, and despite the great efforts of our school leaders, teachers, students and parents that has been hampered by the financial position schools currently find themselves in. We believe it is critical not only that adequate resources are allocated to education but also to target this to frontline services.”

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Stressing that efforts to improve the situation have been hampered by the lack of a devolved government, Mr Weir added: “Our policy goes beyond acknowledging the problem and offers real practical solutions to the school funding crisis. This has to be systemic and strategic and cannot be brought about overnight. There is no silver bullet to solve our problem.

“Taken as a package these proposals can, over time, begin to resolve the funding crisis faced by schools. They would be best implemented in a restored Executive which could ensure political leadership and impetus.”