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Schools ‘funding crisis’: Teachers buying resources themselves to teach children

Calls for urgent action to ensure schools 'properly resourced'

Staff in some local schools have been buying essential resources for their classrooms because their budgets will not stretch far enough.

And there are calls for urgent action to prevent the situation spiralling.

Newry and Armagh SDLP MLA said he has visited local schools over recetn weeks and been told it is becoming a more common practice.

He said he has been informed by principals and teachers that they have personally spent their own money to ensure the necessary resources are available to the children in their care.

Mr McNulty described it as a “funding crisis” and insisted it needed to be addressed.

“School budgets are non-existent, principals are at breaking point and teachers are completely demotivated,” he commented.

“I have met many teachers on the issue of funding in both the primary and secondary sectors and have been saddened by the state they find themselves in.

“Schools are supposed to be a centre of hope, vision and learning. Teachers and principals are charged with the responsibility of developing the citizens and leaders of tomorrow. If we expect them to do that surely they should be resourced properly to do so.

“In my engagement with teachers, I have been astounded to hear how so many of them are personally purchasing essential resources for their classrooms and their pupils.

“In many cases it starts off buying something small as a one-off and then it becomes a regular practice. This can be stationery, books or art materials. In a modern economy this is just wrong and should not be the case.

“School budgets have been squeezed beyond belief. Successive Education Ministers over the last 10 years have cut fund after fund and have ended initiative after initiative. Something has got to give.

“his week an independent study highlighted the importance of new technologies in the classroom as aids to learning. Some schools have invested in iPads whilst others cannot afford to. Some children in schools have access to them where as others don’t.

“We need to see schools and teachers properly resourced fully to do the work they are passionate about doing.”

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