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Action is needed to end the ‘secret garden’ of school and college funding, the Annual Conference of the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union, has heard today.
 
Representatives at the Conference in Belfast have called for substantial year-on-year increases to per pupil funding, but have also stressed the need for greater transparency around school and college accounts and spending decisions.
 
Concerns have been raised that despite the austerity measures which have been inflicted on education, reports of six figure salaries for senior leaders have proliferated, along with reports of vast sums being spent on consultants and the replication of services such as legal and HR provision once provided at a reasonable and realistic cost by local authorities.
 
Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said:
 
“Austerity has taken a heavy toll on investment in education.
 
“Examples of the impact of the cuts are littered across the education landscape with the casualties usually the children, young people and the workforce.
 
“As schools and colleges have been given increased autonomy over spending, spending decisions and priorities have become increasingly cloaked in mystery and secrecy.
 
“Lack of regulation, transparency and democratic accountability has provided opportunities for flawed, and in some cases, corrupt practices.
 
“There appears to be no interest from ministers in whether the funding allocated for the education of our children is being well or wisely spent or is instead lining the pockets of consultants and funding vanity projects at a time when year-on-year investment in education has been cut.
 
“It is nothing short of scandalous.”

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