£1million boost to special education in Southern area, including Dungannon and Cookstown

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Special needs education in the Southern Education Authority area, which includes the Dungannon District, has received a financial boost of almost £1m.

The total of £847,000 awarded to special education in mainstream schools was the largest for any education authority in the North, while a further £87,000 was made available to special needs schools in the area.

The authority had been reporting a financial black hole in special education funding and also in respect of pupil support.

An additional £62,000 was given to the local education transport budget.

The financial injection came as part of the additional £15million given to the Department of Education’s budget as a result of the November monitoring round.

“Special education is a growing cost pressure within the education sector and therefore additional funding will assist special education needs for pupils in both mainstream and special schools,” said Education Minister John O’Dowd. “I am committed to protecting and where possible enhancing frontline services in education. I welcome this additional £15million which will go some way to easing the financial pressures within education. I will continue to do all that I can to make the case for more funds for education in order to assist our children”