Financial Health of Schools

17 May 2017

Work in progress

We are currently undertaking work in order to produce this publication.  Details of when we aim to publish the finalised report is indicated below. 

We are currently undertaking work in order to produce this publication. Details of when we aim to publish the finalised report are indicated below. 

The Department of Education’s primary statutory duty is to promote the education of the people of Northern Ireland and to ensure the effective implementation of education policy. It is supported in delivering its functions by a range of Arm's Length Bodies, including the Education Authority.

The Education Authority was formed on 1 April 2015, replacing the Education and Library Boards as funding authority for Controlled and Maintained schools.  Since 1 April 2017, the Education Authority is also the funding authority for Voluntary Grammar and Grant Maintained Integrated schools. Prior to this the Department was the funding authority for these schools. 

All schools receive delegated budgets and have the authority to determine expenditure from these budgets. Guidance for Controlled and Maintained schools requires that they should not accumulate surpluses or deficits in excess of 5% of their delegated budget or £75,000, whichever is the lesser.  The guidance for Voluntary Grammar and Grant Maintained Integrated schools advises that significant surpluses should not be built up except for a particular purpose; likewise levels of expenditure should be contained with the total resources available to the school.

Our report will:

focus on the extent to which schools have been able to manage within their budget for the period 2011-12 to 2015-16 and whether surpluses or deficits are within required limits; and

consider the actions and initiatives being taken by the Department and the Education Authority to address the financial issues facing schools.

We aim to publish our report in March 2018.