Cuts to school budgets will hit children who need extra help most

SDLP MLA John Dallat
SDLP MLA John Dallat

The proposed budget cuts for 2015-16 will have serious consequences for those children who need the extra help that has been available to ensure that standards are raised for all children in our schools.

This is the view of East Derry SDLP Assembly Member John Dallat who has campaigned for many years for extra resources to address serious issues relating to illiteracy and innumeracy which has been a serious downside to our education system in the past.

“The proposed cuts for the next year, if implemented, will have a profound impact on individual children with special needs and will also add significantly to stress experienced by staff, especially in smaller schools that don’t have any flexibility to absorb cuts of the magnitude proposed,” he said. “The short consultation period does not afford time for any serious discussion on the impact of these proposals and certainly won’t expose the serious consequences which could set back improvements in education achievement by light years.

Every parent will rightfully be extremely concerned at what is about to happen because each child is an individual with their own special needs and these cuts will reduce if not eliminate the resources that were available to make sure that no child falls through the safety net.

Several school principals have expressed their concerns to me and I sincerely hope that the general public will back their campaign and put the pressure on public representatives to resist what is proposed.”