Northern Ireland

Belfast meeting over funding of Northern Ireland schools

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Media captionAbout 40 people attended the public meeting to discuss school funding

People have been giving their views about how schools are funded at a public meeting in Belfast.

In June, the education minister proposed changes to the Common Funding Scheme, which determines how funds are allocated to Northern Ireland schools.

The proposals had been brought forward by an independent panel of experts who examined the current scheme.

They found it was outdated, too complicated and was failing pupils.

The panel recommended a simpler funding formula and financial incentives so that smaller schools are better off if they join with schools nearby.

The meeting on Monday evening was attended by about 40 people. The majority of those were teachers, with a number of parents there as well.

Concerns were raised at the meeting about how the funding changes are implemented.

A Department of Education spokesperson said: "When the minister set out the way ahead for how local schools are funded, he undertook to gather the views of everyone who might be affected, or with an interest, who wishes to have their say.

"Schools already have a mechanism for responding to the consultation, but, in keeping with the minister's views, we wanted to be able to engage with a wider audience.

"This public meeting in Belfast follows one held already in Omagh and enables those who wish to put their views across verbally to have their say.

"It forms part of the wider consultation process that has included an online response form, children's and young people's versions and focussed engagement with parents, children and young people."

The consultation closes on Friday 18 October.

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