NIPSA horrified by Department of Education announcement to decimate the Extended Schools Programme

NIPSA, the leading public sector Trade Union, representing over 8,000 members in the Education Sector, reacts to the announcement that the Department of Education is ending most of the Extended Schools programmes.

Alan Law, Assistant Secretary commented:

“The Extended Schools programme commenced in 2006 with the policy objective by the Department:

‘To reduce underachievement and improve the life chances of children and young people by enhancing their educational development and fostering their health, well-being and social inclusion through the integrated delivery of the support and services necessary to ensure every child has the best start in life.’

Today, NIPSA received notification from the Department of Education today that the funding available for the Extended Schools programme will be reduced by 75% which will lead to a funding cut amounting to £6.868m.

This announcement will be devastating for the futures of children and young people across Northern Ireland. It is yet another example of the failure of politicians to govern and leaving the futures of a generation of young people to the indifference to an unaccountable Secretary of State.

The communication from the Department advises schools to plan that no additional funding will be available from June 2023. The programme is being wrecked and the valuable and important work destroyed. It is shameful that these decisions are being taken without anyone being accountable.”