The Upper Bann MLA said,
“Every day we trust our teachers to educate and care for our children. There needs to be a fair pay settlement for teachers. However, the financial pressures go much deeper and will require a fundamental overhaul of education funding.
Over the last ten years pupil numbers have continued to increase, particularly for SEN pupils, but the funding has not matched this. Spend per pupil in Northern Ireland has been the lowest of the four UK jurisdictions for over a decade and remains 5.5% less than the UK average.
The funding for SEN services is a prime example of the need for change when Ministers have continually been reliant upon re-allocation through monitoring rounds to fund this core service. School leaders do a fantastic job with limited resources, but education requires a proper baseline funding to properly deliver for our children and young people.”