SCHOOLS in the Banbridge district this week received news of their share of the school budget allocation for 2012/13 amid warnings of straitened times ahead.
Announcing the latest funding for schools calculated under the Local Management of Schools Common Funding Formula, Education Minister John O’Dowd warned of stringent times as the Department still faced a reduction in resource funding.
“Despite my recent announcement, when I confirmed that I had secured significant additional investment in education, the reality is that the financial challenges facing schools have been alleviated, not eradicated,” he said. “As has been highlighted during my Department’s recent series of Governors’ seminars across the north, the Department is still facing a real terms reduction in resource funding of £180 million or 9.2 per cent by 2014/15.”
In light of this, Mr O’Dowd said it was “essential” that boards of governors continued to “plan and make the necessary decisions required to ensure they live within their budgets as a matter of urgency”.
He also added that funding had been set aside to assist boards of governors in making redundancies and he was optimistic that this would obviate “as far as possible” the need for compulsory redundancies in the next financial year.
In the Southern Education and Library Board area, which includes the Banbridge district, a total of £215,418,691 was distributed, with a share of £20,517,039 going to primary and secondary schools in the area.
Some of the highest funded schools in the district under the policy are Banbridge Academy (£5,241,922); Banbridge High School (£2,642,498); Dromore Central Primary School (£1,770,820); Edenderry Primary School (£1,131,972); Rathfriland High School (£1,239,470); St Patrick’s College, Banbridge (£1,602,699) and St Mary’s Primary School, Banbridge, (£1,124,005).
The total amount of funding delegated to schools, known as the Aggregated Schools Budget (ASB), is £1,123,333,000 in 2012/13.