Fourteen of our primary schools will have their budgets cut if new reforms are passed, and while two will benefit it'll mean a £180,000 net loss for North Down.
Right now the government basically gives schools money according to the number of pupils they have, with each pupil attracting about the same amount of cash. The reforms will mean that schools would get extra money for every child they enrol who qualifies for free school meals because their parents are on low incomes - but to do that cash will be taken away from children who don't qualify for free meals, which means almost all of our primaries take a hit.
But us lot in the Spectator are wondering, where do you want to go from here? Are you so angry you're planning a protest outside the Department of Education, or do you think schools in less well off regions deserve the extra? Should the Education Minister drop the reforms or do you reckon they'll work out for the best in the long run? And what about the wider issues - is this the squeezed middle under attack again, or a vital move to help people in deprived areas? Tell us what you think!
There is a reason why Northern Ireland traditionally outperforms in national exams and that starts in primary schools.
Diluting their effectiveness can only harm the country's prospects in the long run and further disullusion families who already believe they are the ignored majority.
more than a month ago
The main site almost looks deliberate in its' complexity..... and there is a very short time scale to get your voice heard. Here is another direct link: http://apps.deni.gov.uk/appDEconsult2/Logon.aspx create an account (which is very simple and instant) then answer the questions, Question 3c is the critical one.
Why does a child who qualifies for free school meals need more money spent on his / her education than a child with working parents? Surely all our children should be entitled to equality within the classroom? The same educational opportunities, resources, learning environment, standard of teaching and learning support should be available to all children, irrespective of parental income. We certainly should not be taking funding away from the schools where there are less children entitled to free meals in order to boost the schools where there are more. It seems as if the children of working parents are to be penalised for actually going out to work and earning money. Do we want to teach our children that the more you do, the less you are "entitled" to? I am not criticising any family that is on benefits, I just don't see why the children of working parents should go without in the school context to further subsidise the children who are already getting free school meals, guaranteed places in the schools of their choice and parents who can be there to pick them up from school everyday and do their homework with them.
Not sure what can be done about these proposals, but they do not seem to be fair.