A proposed £3 million cut to school uniform grants has been described as ‘an attack on children and families with low incomes which is in contrary to education policy and research’.
Sinn Fein MLA John O’Dowd said: “This proposed cut is an attack on children and families on low incomes - a further result of Tory austerity cuts. It is totally unacceptable.
“All evidence and research shows the biggest barriers to successful educational outcomes are faced by those children from low income families.
“Investing in and supporting children from low income backgrounds breaks the cycle of poverty and ensures young people have choices provided by a good education.
“When I was Education Minister I expanded the criteria to allow more families to qualify for the Uniform Grant, my decision allowed working families on low income to qualify and eased the burden of back to school costs.
“Since the Tories came into power we have seen over a billion cut from the North’s block grant.
“The DUP in their support for Theresa May’s Tory government has handed them a blank cheque for their cuts and a Tory Brexit.”
In conclusion Mr O’Dowd said: “Sinn Féin have asked for urgent meetings with both the Education Authority and the Department and we will be calling on them to reverse this cut immediately.”