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St Ronan's forced to ask for donations

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

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THE principal of St Ronan's Primary School, Newry, has asked parents to donate towards classroom supplies as further budget cuts has left the school with a budget of 56 per pupil.
Mr Kevin Donaghy sent a letter home with pupils last week asking for a voluntary donation which will help the school buy classroom items such as colouring pencils and paper.
The letter states that St Ronan's overall budget has been slashed by 22,000, meaning that there will be reductions in school personnel and that the classroom budget for buying stationary items is only 10 per child, which equates to 10p per pupil per day.
In the letter Mr Donaghy states: "You will have heard the Secretary of State announce 30million of additional money for education in August, but do not be misled this money has already been previously announced, accounted for and spent. Indeed, this is not new money.
“Our previous Education Minister has already stated that for education, just to stand still, the education budget needed to be increased by an additional 80million, each year for the next three years.
“We have now also been made aware that the additional 50million agreed by the DUP to keep the Conservative Party in power is to be used to cover the deficit at the Education Authority and that none of this money will be made available to schools."
Parents have also been asked to donate towards the school's music tuition funding as the school can no longer subsidise 'the strings project' for P4 pupils and recorder tuition for P5 to P7 pupils.
It has been recommended that parents with one child in P4 to P7 should contribute 10, parents with two children should donate 15 and parents with three or more children should contribute 20.
The school's Gaelic Dress Up Day this Friday, will have a sponsored hula hoop and Mr Donaghy is hoping to raise money for glue sticks, paint, colouring pencils, colouring pens, rubbers, pencils, photocopying paper and coloured paper.
“As you can understand the quality and access to education is more important than the financial aspect of school life," continued Mr Donaghy.
“What I would not like to happen is that any child is denied access to any part of the curriculum due to financial pressures."

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