According to a recent statement by Derek Baker from the Department of Education, Northern Ireland is currently facing severe financial problems in terms of supporting the educational system.
These comments come among increased tension between the Department of Education and parents because of the high costs of school uniforms, and supplementary school materials.
According to Mr. Baker, the Department of Education is currently underfunded, and this means there is no possibility for improving campuses and schools in the country. One of the main challenges before the government is to find sufficient funding to develop shared campus schemes in order to boost the overall quality of educational services throughout the country.
Northern Ireland overspends on education
For a third consecutive school year, the Department of Education has overspent the allocated budget for education. This is a severe red flag as to the government’s decisions in which areas to invest and in which not.
For this school year, the Department of Education spent about fifteen million pounds (GBP15m) more than the announced budget by the government.
According to Mr. Baker, the main reason for the unsuccessful budgeting for education in Northern Ireland is due to the lack of an officially elected Minister of Education. Mr. Baker also noted that the recent actions of four of the teacher unions in the country have made the school evaluation process very difficult.
For the 2018-2019 school year, the Department of Education spent more than two billion pounds (GBP2.2bn), of which about half went directly to schools.