Clifton Special School

Northern Ireland written question – answered on 5th March 2007.

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Photo of Sylvia Hermon Sylvia Hermon UUP, North Down

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much funding was made available by his Department to the Clifton Special School in each of the past five years; and what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the current funding allocated to the school.

Photo of Maria Eagle Maria Eagle Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Northern Ireland Office)

The Department of Education (DE) does not fund Clifton Special School directly. The level of funding for Clifton Special School is determined by the South-Eastern Education and Library Board (SEELB) as part of its annual decisions about the allocation of its block grant.

The Chief Executive of the SEELB has advised me that the recurrent budget for Clifton Special School in the last five years is as set out in the following table.

The budgets include non-delegated, Article 56 (delegated), earmarked and carry-forward allocations, but exclude capital and initial furniture and equipment allocations associated with the new school when it opened in April 2005.

2002-03 1,077,966
2003-04 1,232,285
2004-05 1,315,916
2005-06 1,447,936
2006-07 1,500,585

The Chief Executive has also advised that SEELB monitors the ongoing costs of the school throughout the year. When recurrent budget allocations are received from DE, an assessment is made of the amount that will be required centrally to fund staffing costs in each of the special schools, taking account of pupil numbers and needs, and how much should be delegated to schools under Article 56 of the Education Reform (Northern Ireland) Order 1989 to meet costs other than staffing. Each special school also receives its share of any appropriate earmarked funds. Based on this process, the Board is satisfied that Clifton School is adequately resourced.

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