Budgets for next year announced

Rui Vieira/PA Wire
Rui Vieira/PA Wire

All grant-aided schools in the Derry area have been informed of their budgets for the 2014/15 financial year.

Education Minister John O’Dowd made the announcement yesterday after making final decisions on changes to the Common Funding 
Scheme (CFS).

Mr O’Dowd was also able to confirm that the amount of money directly delegated to schools is to rise by £26.5 million over the current 
financial year.

Announcing the budgets, the Minister said: “Since my appointment as Education Minister, I have been clear that I want to create a system that provides every child with an excellent education. I was not convinced that the existing arrangements for funding schools reflected this aim; therefore I asked an independent panel to provide me with recommendations on the future shape of the CFS.

“Last year, after consideration of these recommendations, I published my proposals for consultation. I was very pleased with the response rate to the draft proposals. The fact that nearly 15,000 responses were received illustrates the passion felt by local communities about their young 
people’s education.”

Among the changes to the CFF, the Minister has decided to create two discrete funding streams within the formula – one for primary and nursery and one for post-primary.

Following feedback during the consultation, he has also moved to redirect one-third of the funding previously available under the ‘Warnock’ factor to primary schools’ core budgets, with the balance being directed to tackling disadvantage.

This, he says, is to reflect the “strong correlation” between social disadvantage and educational attainment.

The Minister says transitional payments will be made to those schools whose budget under the new arrangements is less than the school would have received had the formula and budget remained the same 
as in 2013/14.

These payments range from £2 to £11,532. Only 2.5% of schools will require a transitional payment in excess 
of £5,000.

Further detail on the budgets can be found at: http://www.deni.gov.uk/common-funding-formula-budgets-for-schools-2014-15.htm