Winners in education funding reforms disagree with overall proposals

October 28, 2013

A local Principal whose school may stand to receive a £127,000 financial boost under controversial new funding proposals has provisionally welcomed the additional funding but disagreed with plans to take money away from the existing budgets of other schools in order to reallocate funds.

Principal John Jones of St. Joseph’s High School in Crossmaglen told The Examiner he believed that money should be allocated on the basis of social deprivation but should not be taken away from other schools.

The Crossmaglen High School is set to become the biggest “winner” in the local area if the funding shake-up proposed by Education Minister John O’Dowd goes ahead.  The planned changes to the Common Funding Scheme for schools, which will benefit those with high numbers of children in receipt of Free School Meals, have been met with widespread opposition from Principals whose budgets stand to be cut under the reforms.

Newry Headmaster Frank Dawson, spoke out last week against the proposals which would see his school, St. Ronan’s Primary, lose out by almost £15,000 a year.  He urged parents to dispute the changes and also called on local representatives to fight against the revised funding strategy, which will leave over 80% of schools in Northern Ireland financially worse off.

Now it seems that even those head teachers whose budgets will receive the biggest cash injections are expressing concerns about the effect this will have on the budgets of other schools.

As the controversy over the revised funding scheme rages on, St Joseph’s High School Headmaster, Mr Jones, accepted that additional funding is only a proposal at the moment and refused to be drawn on what the funding boost would mean for the school.