Proposals for £110m funding cut from EA budget “unconscionable” – Butler

< Back To News

Proposals for £110m funding cut from EA budget “unconscionable” – Butler

UUP Education spokesperson and Deputy Leader Robbie Butler MLA said:

“The recent proposed budget cuts of £110m to Education services by the Department of Education would decimate an already stretched sector and place some of our most vulnerable children at unconscionable risk.

“With teachers and support staff already working to full capacity and above this will be a burden that they cannot bear. 

“In real terms the quarterly cut that has been sought will likely manifest in a £500m reduction, in year. Given that slashes to services will have to be made in order to deliver the request, this places non-statutory services directly in the firing line. 

“In recent years great work has been carried out at the Assembly to achieve much needed commitments to Special Education Needs and Disability (SEND) Transformation funding which was evidenced by reports such as “Too Little Too Late” by the NI Children’s Commissioner (NICCY) and additional funding to support Mental Health and Wellbeing which was a key ask from our young people including the “Elephant In The Room” report.” 

“If these cuts are realised, I fear that the disinvestment in our young people will manifest itself for years to come with preventable barriers to learning, engagement and wellbeing being irreparably eroded for a generation. 

“There is clear evidence that early intervention and support for children reduces health inequalities and juvenile misadventure and promotes employability, wellbeing and life satisfaction. This should be enough to push for additional funding, not huge cuts. 

“We need a functioning Executive as a priority for our children’s future with a Minister who is wedded to their best interests. In the interim we need demonstration from the Secretary of State that he values our children and will reverse this disinvestment in our pupils.”