The Department of Education (DE) has published its Equality Impact Assessment (EQIA) Final Report on Resource Budget allocations for the 2023-24 financial year.
Thanking those who responded to the consultation, DE Permanent Secretary, Dr Mark Browne said: “The Department is extremely grateful to all those who took time to respond to the EQIA consultation. The invaluable input and expertise received through responses will help to inform and shape further mitigation measures as well as the allocation of any additional funding available during 2023-24.”
Acknowledging the serious impact budget proposals will have on children, young people and their families, Dr Browne continued: “Faced with an extremely challenging financial position, the Department has already taken significant decisions including reductions to the Aggregated Schools Budget, the Education Authority’s Block Grant and the cessation of the Engage, Healthy Happy Minds and School Holiday Food Grant schemes from the end of March 2023. No one should underestimate the impact of these and other decisions that we have had to take in recent months.”
Addressing the scale of the pressures facing the entire education sector, Dr Browne indicated that, “the Department is facing a funding gap of approximately £300m in the context of increasing demand-led Special Educational Needs pressures and outstanding pay issues” before noting that “the Department will not be able to live within the current budget allocation or address outstanding pay issues unless additional funding is provided.”
Notes to editors:
- The EQIA report is available at: Final EQIA on 2023-24 Resource Budget Allocations
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- Media enquiries to the Department of Education Press Office at Press.Office@education-ni.gov.uk.
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