'To rob money for security is immoral'

4th April 1997 at 01:00
While politicians and pundits are arguing about the political fall-out of the education cuts, schools are facing the difficult task of managing them in practice.

Kilmaine Primary School in Bangor has a surplus on its budget but faces a cut of Pounds 100,000 in the financial year beginning this week. The principal, Raymond Boyd, expects to lose six of his 35 teachers.

With 850 pupils expected on the rolls next year, the number of pupils per teacher will rise from around 24 to 29.

"For a minister to rob this money from education for security is pretty immoral," Mr Boyd said.

"Education is one thing this country has going for it, but now it is being decimated for reasons outside our control."

Brownlee Primary School in Lisburn is losing one of its five teachers, pushing the pupil-teacher ratio in the 120-pupil school from 24 to 30.

But even this will not make good the shortfall of Pounds 34,000, and Brownlee faces the prospect of cutting another teacher in a year's time, pushing the pupil-teacher ratio to 40.

"The board of governors was very reluctant to make any cuts," said the principal James Kerr. "We will not get back into surplus next year but we hope to do it in two years' time. Children are being punished. I have been teaching for 35 years and this is the worst I have ever encountered."

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today