Funding inequalities unacceptable, says Ulster Teachers’ Union

Cookstown teacher Stephen McCord.
Cookstown teacher Stephen McCord.

Funding inequities between primary and secondary school students are unacceptable.

That’s according to Cookstown teacher Stephen McCord, President of the Ulster Teachers’ Union, who was speaking as the Education Minister released his school budgets for next year.

“Whilst the pupil weighting in the primary sector has increased slightly, the disparity between per pupil funding there compared to the secondary sector is still too great,” said Mr McCord, head of science at Glastry College.

“Are we saying that primary school children are ‘worth’ less than their secondary counterparts?

Mr McCord said this funding difference manifests itself in the fact that secondary schools can have a better ratio of pupils to teacher and provide greater clerical and technical support.

“It is known that children develop most quickly in their formative years. Therefore, it is crucial that they gain a firm foundation in literacy, numeracy and academic skills,” he added.