West Tyrone Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Boyle welcomes education spending announcement

Published: 11 June, 2013

John O'dowd pictured with West Tyrone MLAs and MP

John O'dowd pictured with West Tyrone MLAs and MP

Sinn Féin West Tyrone MLA and Assembly Education Committee member Michaela Boyle has welcomed the statement from the

Minister of Education outlining his strategy for spending within education in the coming years.

The local MLA said,

"As an elected representative for an area of high multi-deprivation, I particularly welcome the Minister's announcement that £30 million will be allocated to tackle disadvantage over the next few years and see this as key to resourcing the clear strategy to improve educational standards and life outcomes

"The Minister's announcement comes on the back of an independent report commissioned by the Minister which identified that more money needs to be targeted at tackling education deficiencies in areas suffering from deprivation.

"It is important that all our children regardless of social class, religious or sexual orientation are given an equal chance to attain academic excellence.

"John O Dowd also announced an extension of the free school meals criteria, meaning that an additional 15,000 post-primary pupils will have access to this entitlement for the first time and that more families will be able to attain uniform grants thus relieving financial pressure on families especially those with multiple children at school.

"The Minister's decision not to accept the recommendation to end the extra financial support given to small schools will also come as a great relief to many rural and isolated communities. We need to move towards a more sustainable schools estate but this must be done in a carefully planned way and to simply end the small schools support would have led to great instability in the education sector."