Ulster Unionist Education Spokesperson, Rosemary Barton MLA, has hit out at the decision to slash the funding for school uniform grants by up to 60%.
The Fermanagh and South Tyrone MLA, who is also a former school teacher, said:
“It was only last year when the then Education Minister emphasised that school uniform grants provide vital support for non-working and low income families to overcome some of the financial barriers which they face in seeking to ensure their children have a good education.
“Whilst I understand the Department of Education is in a difficult budgetary position, going after so much of the support for our more vulnerable schoolchildren is deplorable.
“This demand by the Department of Education to slash the level of funding for school uniforms is what happens when some politicians abdicate their responsibilities and place crucial decisions in the hands of civil servants.
“This decision is just the latest in a growing list of issues that have come about as a direct result of the stalemate at Stormont. Sinn Fein have a brass neck in condemning the decision to reduce the grant, given their pivotal role in preventing a new Education Minister being appointed. They are continuing to put their political demands ahead of what is in the interests of local schoolchildren, and desperate to avoid any culpability, they seemingly have no hesitation to then engage in rank hypocrisy.”