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Record level of spend in education in 2010-11

20 June, 2011 - by John O'Dowd

Education Minister, John O’Dowd, today announced total spend by the Department of Education in 2010/11 in excess of £2billion.

The Minister was speaking about the outturn figures for 2010/11.

The Minister said: “The Department has maximised the use of resources made available to education by the Executive last year and I can report spend of over 99% on both current and capital budgets. This is a record level of spend for educational services and has ensured continued improvement in the quality of education provided to our children and young people.”

Welcoming the figures, Mr O’Dowd said: “Today’s figures illustrate the continued improvement in sound financial management across the education sector.

“This is money that is helping to improve the educational experience and outcomes of young people and money that is helping improve the educational estate. Indeed 14 major capital schemes were completed in the past year, with new builds for schools such as Belfast Boys’ Model School and St Patrick’s Grammar School, Downpatrick improving the quality of our education estate.”

Current expenditure amounted to £1,909million with £18.6million underspend, the majority of which related to underspend in Education and Library Boards and schools. On the capital side over £186million was invested.

The Minister went on to highlight the continued importance of financial management in the current economic environment. Mr O’Dowd said: “As we look towards a more constrained financial climate, this performance will be essential in ensuring the resources we do have are fully utilised to deliver improvements in educational services.”

“For my part, I will work to ensure we make the best use of the money available to us. I will want to ensure, through the reform of education administration, that we have efficient and effective structures in place for the future. The challenges we face, however will require leaders throughout the system at all levels to work to deliver real improvements for our young people.”

The Minister also welcomed the agreement of the Executive to honour its commitment to schools to ensure that arrangements would be put in place to ensure that access to both past and future savings would be honoured following the withdrawal of the EYF scheme by Treasury.

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