School Finance

Northern Ireland written question – answered on 10th January 2005.

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Photo of Sylvia Hermon Sylvia Hermon Shadow Spokesperson (Women), Shadow Spokesperson (Trade and Industry), Shadow Spokesperson (Culture, Media and Sport), Shadow Spokesperson (Home Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will take steps to prevent (a) teachers and (b) support staff being made redundant as a result of the new funding arrangements for schools in Northern Ireland.

Photo of Barry Gardiner Barry Gardiner Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Northern Ireland Office)

Under Local Management of Schools arrangements, decisions on the employment of teachers and support staff are for Boards of Governors to take in light of their particular circumstances including, in particular, the number of pupils at the school and their educational and social needs. My proposals for a common funding scheme for all schools are designed to ensure that schools with similar characteristics are funded consistently and equitably regardless of their geographical location. I expect that the majority of schools will see increases in their budgets as a result of the move from seven separate Local Management of Schools (LMS) funding schemes to the new common funding arrangements.

However, I am concerned to ensure that the impact of any budget changes arising from the introduction of common funding is managed in a way that minimises disruption to both staff and pupils. That is why the move to common funding will be phased over a transitional period in order to allow schools sufficient time to adjust, particularly those schools which may see a decrease in funding

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