The government has allocated £500m for education in Northern Ireland over the next three years, it has been announced.
DUP leader Arlene Foster said Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has confirmed that the money will be on top of the additional funding already delivered through the party’s Confidence and Supply Agreement with the Conservative government.
“This is a much needed boost for education resource funding over the three years starting from 2020/21,” Mrs Foster said.
“This will be on top of the additional funding which has already been delivered for education through our Confidence and Supply Agreement.
“I also welcome the priority that is being placed on special educational needs. I have asked to meet the permanent secretary in the Department of Education to press for special needs to be prioritised in Northern Ireland too.”
The DUP leader said that money alone will not fix education in Northern Ireland and that it was “deeply frustrating” there is no Northern Ireland Assembly with a minister responsible for reforming education here.
“Sinn Fein continues to place their preconditions above getting on with the job. It’s time for them to lift the boycott,” she added.
“Whilst some focus on refighting process arguments, this is delivery on matters of importance. We will continue to work with the Government to deliver more funding for schools and hospitals as well as ensure our police is properly resourced to tackle crime.”
Northern Ireland has been without a devolved government since January 2017 owing to ongoing disagreement between the DUP and Sinn Fein. All attempts to restore power-sharing have since failed.
The overall schools budget for the UK is due to rise to £52.2 billion in 2022/23, the government has said.
It is understood the current schools budget stands at about £45 billion.
Belfast Telegraph Digital