Six schools face big budget cuts

Education Minister, John O'Dowd
Education Minister, John O'Dowd

Six local schools face cuts under the new funding scheme brought in by Education Minister John O’Dowd, however, the majority of schools in Lurgan and Craigavon will be better off.

The biggest loser will be Lurgan Junior High School which faces a new funding budget of £2,248,853 - more than £67k less than last year.

Another school facing cuts is St Teresa’s Primary School which will have more than £29k less in the budget.

Education Minister John O’Dowd announced plans last year to change the method of school funding to direct more funding towards pupils from socially deprived backgrounds.

The new funding proposals were brought in by an independent panel of experts tasked by the Minister to examine how funds are allocated to schools.

St Paul’s will face a £23k shortfall and St Mary’s will be down £5k, however, they are set to amalgamate with St Michael’s Grammar which will receive a funding boost of £85,199. Their combined schools’ budget will be £6,269,166.

Tannaghmore Primary School also faces cuts of £6,3k while St Patrick’s Primary School in Magheralin faces a cut of £3,397.

Lurgan College will have a funding boost to £2,036,398 compared to £1,995,298 last year. This represents £4,515 per each of the 451 students.

Carrick Primary, which is in the highest free school meals band, will have a funding boost to £1,161,885 from last year’s £1,041,747 budget

Another school in the highest free school meals band, Dickson Primary, will also have a new higher budget of £600,874 compared to £575,255 last year.