Third of Northern Ireland schools in poor areas will lose cash under John O’Dowd’s plan, as some top colleges are given more

According to an analysis reported in the Belfast Telegraph, around one-third of Northern Ireland’s most deprived primary schools will lose funding under plans to help poorer pupils – while prestigious grammar schools are set to make significant gains…

An analysis of proposed changes to schools’ funding reveals that 79 (32.7%) of Northern Ireland’s 241 most deprived schools will actually lose money annually.

Another 162 schools with the highest levels of social deprivation will see their 2013/14 budgets increase under the current estimates.

In all of the 79 schools, 37% or more of the pupils receive free school meals – the indicator used to measure a school’s social deprivation.

Under its Extended Schools Initiative, the Department of Education identifies Northern Ireland’s most deprived schools as those with 37% or more pupils on free schools.

The Extended Schools programme targets funding at “schools serving the most disadvantaged communities”, according to the Department of Education’s literature.

The funding cuts in these 79 ‘deprived’ schools range from an annual £150 to just over £31,600 in the case of St John The Baptist Primary School in Belfast, where 40% of pupils receive free school meals.

Yet, the whole idea of the Department of Education-backed plan to radically change how schools are funded is to direct more money towards pupils from socially deprived backgrounds…

More at:  Third of Northern Ireland schools in poor areas will lose cash under John O’Dowd’s plan, as some top colleges are given more

We’ve covered a few stories on this proposed funding change in Northern Ireland and what seemed a fairly straightforward (albeit controversial) scheme to re-allocate funding towards schools with more deprived pupils seems to be throwing up some odd anomalies – can anyone shed any light? Please share in the comments or on twitter… 

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Categories: Northern Ireland.

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