Education Minister, Peter Weir, has announced that he is providing schools with £14million of additional spending power this year.
Peter Weir said: “I am fully aware of the challenging financial position facing schools this year, which is reflective of the difficult financial environment facing the whole Northern Ireland public sector. It is important that a balance is struck between increasing pay costs and securing jobs.
“I value the significant contributions teachers make to the education and development of our children and young people. However, my top priority is pupils and improving their educational outcomes. Today’s young people are tomorrow’s future generations and it is therefore right that I focus my efforts there.
“Since taking up my post as Education Minister, I have been acutely aware of the pressure on my budget and the subsequent impact on schools. This has been reinforced through my discussions with Principals and I want to assure them I have been listening. While it is difficult to make changes in year, providing further financial assistance to schools has been one of my top priorities and I have been working to address this for some months.”
Continuing the Minister said that achieving this recommended pay settlement is an important element in his overall package of providing schools with £14million of additional spending power in 2016-17.
He said: “The £14million has two key elements: as a result of this pay settlement staff costs will reduce by nearly £7million and I have proactively reviewed the overall Education budget and reallocated over £7million of new funding to the 2016-17 Schools Budget. The £7million new funding will now be distributed to schools, using the Common Funding Formula.
“These two elements together will lessen the burden on school budgets, mitigate some of the increased 2016-17 Employer National Insurance costs impacting all schools, as well as going some way to protecting teaching posts that may otherwise be at risk of redundancy. Today’s announcement is further evidence of how the Executive is delivering for people and especially our young people.”