The Northern Ireland Audit Office (NIAO) has criticised the Education Authority (EA) for overspending its budget by £19m in 2016-17. The EA is responsible for allocating money to schools across Northern Ireland. The BBC reports.
It also commissions and pays for things like school transport, school maintenance and support for children with special educational needs (SEN).
The comptroller and auditor general, Kieran Donnelly, also raised concerns about a number of other aspects of the authority’s budget, including how late it was confirmed.
He also said that if the Department of Education (DE) had not provided additional money to the authority in year, its overspend would have been “significantly higher”.
According to the DE, the overspend was caused by the authority spending £7.8m more than it was allocated on schools, £6.8m on SEN and £3.9m on school maintenance
n a statement, the EA said around 99% of its budget is spent directly on schools or services supporting children and young people, leaving little room for reducing spending.
It added, they will continue to make the case for additional funding but believe transformation of the system is required.
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