Egan concerned lack of Executive is impeding implementation of Fair Start Report

Alliance Education spokesperson Connie Egan MLA has said that the current budgetary situation is having a detrimental impact on the delivery of the Fair Start Report.

Education Connie Egan

The Fair Start Report was a New Decade New Approach commitment to look into and address links between educational underachievement and socio-economic background. After being endorsed by the Executive in May 2021, today the fourth progress report was published.
“I am pleased to see progress has been made on recommendations across 8 key delivery areas in the last two years. However, the report makes it clear that the current budgetary situation will have a detrimental impact on implementing the recommendations set out in the Fair Start report,” said the North Down MLA.
“The expert panel recommended a budget of £21m in the second year of the implementation plan for 2023/4, instead the Department of Education has allocated a fraction of that, at £2.5 million. This is extremely concerning and will directly impact vulnerable young people, already at risk of educational underachievement.
“The report highlights improvements to services such as Early Years and emotional health and well-being won't be implemented, as recommended, due to the enormity of funding cuts being made by the Department of Education.
“Once again our vulnerable children and young people are the ones paying the price for a lack of political leadership.”