Alliance Education spokesperson Trevor Lunn MLA has said that it is not logical to make changes to school budgets under the common funding formula until the Education Skills Authority is established and area planning arrangements are completed. Trevor’s comments were made ahead of an Assembly debate on Tuesday on the proposed changes to the common funding formula.
Trevor Lunn MLA said:”Alliance completely acknowledges that school results are worse for children from poorer backgrounds and we are absolutely adamant that additional funding is necessary to tackle this problem, but it is not reasonable to take money from successful school’s budgets, which are severely stretched already. The extra funding should be found from other sources
“It is not logical to make changes to school budgets before area planning arrangements are finalised and the Education Skills Authority is up and running – funding for schools should only be changed when we have finished our previous schools reforms. We appear to be putting the cart before the horse.
“In terms of using free school meals as a criterion for establishing disadvantage, this system may not be perfect but there is currently no alternative available. Using this criterion will benefit working class areas of all backgrounds, not just nationalist or unionist.
“We would suggest that these proposals are put on hold pending the finalisation of ESA and the area planning processes.”