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Wednesday, 7 March, 2001, 13:22 GMT
Funding change for NI schools
Schools will benefit from additional money
Schools in Northern Ireland are to receive an extra 20.4m in the next financial year, the education minister has announced.

Martin McGuinness revealed details of the cash boost during a visit to his former school in Londonderry on Wednesday.

Primary schools, in particular, are set to benefit from the extra money.

The money being allocated to individual school budgets will be related to enrolment and means schools will receive, on average, 56 extra per pupil.

  • Nursery and primary schools are guaranteed a minimum of 5,500 up to a maximum of 20,640.
  • Post-primary schools are guaranteed a minimum of 25,000 up to a maximum of 52,000.
  • Special Schools will receive 110 extra per pupil with a guaranteed minimum allocation of 5000.
  • In line with the policy of Targeting Social Need, a supplement of 13 per pupil will be payable in respect of each pupil entitled to receive free school meals.

    Mr McGuinness said: "This is good news for all schools.

    "The extra money will be paid directly into school budgets, and school principals and governors will decide how it should be spent."

    The extra 20.4m forms part of the spending plans for 2001/02 announced by the executive committee in December.

    Mr McGuinness said the method of distributing the extra money was fair and consistent and ensured each school received a "meaningful amount."

    Martin McGuinness made the funding announcement
    Martin McGuinness made the funding announcement

    "I know that many primary schools were unhappy with the method of distribution used last year, under which post-primary schools benefited disproportionately," he said.

    "The approach used this year gives pupils in all sectors the same funding and recognises the importance of investing in early learning.

    "The extra money will be invaluable in helping schools improve provision for their pupils - whether books and equipment or other teaching resources. It is for schools themselves to decide."

    Money welcomed

    Last year schools were given an additional 14.7m.

    Mr Danny Kennedy, chairman of the assembly's education committee, welcomed the news.

    He said: "The education committee is delighted that schools will benefit from the extra money which will go direct to them to be spent as they see fit.

    "The education committee was concerned that the method of distribution of the additional money made available to schools last year, was based on the approach used in England and had not reflected local needs, with the primary sector in particular faring badly."

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