Started by Truth hurts, June 13, 2023, 09:47:21 AM
Quote from: seafoid on June 14, 2023, 03:10:31 PMThis is all down to the DUP. 300 trainee nurse positions were also cut. The cuts are supposed to shame the DUP into returning to Stormont but the DUP is shameless.
Quote from: johnnycool on June 14, 2023, 02:30:36 PMUlster Council looking the schools and clubs to pony up for this to continue...
Quote from: Taylor on June 14, 2023, 03:43:34 PMQuote from: johnnycool on June 14, 2023, 02:30:36 PMUlster Council looking the schools and clubs to pony up for this to continue...Course they are - on top of already raiding clubs to pay for the county team as well.Clubs out with the begging pots again to stay afloat
Quote from: Truth hurts on June 13, 2023, 09:47:21 AMFunding for specialist sports coaching in primary schools will end, the Department of Education (DE) has said.The school sports programme was delivered by coaches from the Irish Football Association (IFA) and Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA).It was run in more than 200 schools each year by 22 coaches and cost about £500,000 a year.The department has told the sports bodies "no further funding is available".It said due to budget cuts "difficult decisions have had to be made" to halt funding to a number of third party organisations.In a statement, the IFA and GAA said they and a number of assembly members (MLAs) have requested an urgent meeting with the department's permanent secretary about the decision to end the funding.The department has already stopped a number of schemes to save money, including the school holiday food grant for children entitled to free school meals.That came after funding for education was reduced in the 2023-24 Stormont budget.In their letter announcing it was ending the funding for the scheme, the department said: "Faced with this extremely challenging position the department has had no choice but to take a number of very difficult decisions."'Major health concerns'The coaches from the IFA and GAA went into schools to provide extra PE classes.They delivered lessons for pupils in athletics, dance, games and gymnastics as well as soccer and GAA, and provided advice to teachers.The low level of physical activity among children and young people in Northern Ireland has previously been described as a "major health concern" in a Stormont report.It said more than a quarter of children in Northern Ireland were classed as overweight or obese.A separate report from the Education and Training Inspectorate (ETI) said that about three-quarters of primary schools were not providing the recommended amount of PE.The ETI had said that the IFA and GAA scheme gave teachers "access to specialist local knowledge and skills which improve the quality of their planning for PE and extra-curricular physical activities".A football sits in the foreground on a white line while children take part in a coaching session in the backgroundIMAGE SOURCE,GETTY IMAGESImage caption,Concerns have been raised about inactivity among childrenIn a joint statement to BBC News NI, the IFA and Ulster GAA said the school sports programme supported 900 teachers and 24,000 children, delivering more than 400 PE classes a week.IFA Foundation director James Thompson said the decision to axe the funding "has been taken at a time when physical inactivity risks long-term harm to the physical and mental health of children"."Three quarters of primary schools are unable to provide the recommended two hours per week for PE," he said."If this was the case for any other statutory subject there would be government support rather than a reduction in provision."We are asking our MLAs to take all possible action to protect this vital programme and, most importantly, the health, wellbeing and resilience of children in Northern Ireland."Ulster GAA director Eugene Young said ending the scheme "would be a significant loss to our children and schools"."We cannot allow children to have decreased access to the statutory curriculum for PE and call on our political representatives to support the campaign to retain the wide-ranging benefits of this programme," he said.Thomas McKee, who is principal of Our Lady's Primary School in Tullysaran, County Tyrone, said the coaches provided by the school sports programme were "absolutely vital" to the physical and emotional wellbeing of his pupils.In a statement, the Department of Education said it "recognises how disappointing this decision will be for everyone involved in the delivery of the programme and for the young people who have benefitted from it".It added: "The education budget has been reduced by 2.5% and faces estimated pressures of £382m."While the department acknowledges the value that both organisations have added to support and enhance the delivery of the curriculum, difficult decisions have had to be made to cease funding to a number of third party organisations."