Dr. Mark Browne, Permanent Secretary of the Department of Education (DE), and Barry Mulholland, Chair of the Board of the Education Authority (EA), met to talk about the pressures that the education sector is currently under.
Senior DE and EA officials were present at the meeting, which also featured EA Board members. The main focus of the discussion was the severe financial difficulties that Northern Ireland’s schools are currently facing.
“I continue to be acutely aware of the serious obstacles that the educational system faces, including the present economic climate, persistent labor disputes, insufficient money for school buildings, and the growing number of students who require special education services.,” stated Dr. Browne in a statement following the meeting.
He added, “Additionally, due to financial constraints, we will once again be unable to compensate our diligent employees because it is just not feasible. This is an unacceptable way to stand. Due compensation is a just reward for the exceptional work that our teachers and staff perform under extremely trying conditions.”
“I continue to be extremely concerned that, in the absence of further large investment in education services and transformation, as well as a long-term sustainable funding model, the quality of education and outcomes for children and young people will continue to suffer.”
“Over the past 10 years, there has been persistent underfunding of education, and we continue to be extremely worried about the effects that the extraordinary financial strains are having on our staff, schools, and ultimately our children and young people,” Mr. Mulholland said in response to ongoing pressures on the Education Authority’s budget.