The Controlled Schools’ Support Council, on which the TRC is represented, has issued the following statement on an Ulster University report on education in Northern Ireland, published on Tuesday, 4th April 2023:
Today’s report from Ulster University, partially funded by the Integrated Education Fund, states that the significant underfunding in education is due to duplication. The Controlled Schools’ Support Council (CSSC) would contend that this is an incorrect assertion and weakens the case for equality of education funding for our children and young people.
The report includes a misunderstanding of funding from external sources as well as questionable estimates based on attributed and not actual costs.
Our concern is that the report allows the Secretary of State and others to question the fundamental requirement for Northern Ireland education to receive funding equal to other regions in the UK as highlighted recently by leaders in education.
In addition to the above concerns, this desk-based analysis hasn’t included any engagement with those working across education and neither does it include any actionable recommendations.
At a time when all education bodies in Northern Ireland agree that education here is significantly underfunded, the report will damage the case for equal funding for education here when compared to all other regions in the UK.
CSSC supports children and young people being educated together and agrees with the need for transformation and investment in the education system in Northern Ireland. We need a vision and strategy for education that includes everyone working together and all voices being listened to. Our society is divided across a number of areas; however presenting education as being the problem is a misunderstanding of the role of our schools.