How is our school funded?
Ballymena Academy is a Voluntary Grammar School. As such, it is funded by an annual budget allocation from the Department of Education which covers things like teachers’ salaries, heating and lighting costs and general maintenance – all of the essential costs involved in running a school. Like every school in in Northern Ireland, this budget allocation comes under increased pressure year on year.
One of the main benefits of being a voluntary grammar school is the flexibility that this arrangement gives us in the way the school is managed by our Board of Governors. From the quality of teachers that we employ, to the facilities that we choose to invest in and the curriculum we offer, these are decisions that we are able to take ourselves. This level of autonomy allows us to provide the very highest quality of educational experience for our children.
At Ballymena Academy we believe that an education is about far more than just the achievement of academic excellence. From the fantastic music and drama productions that we stage, to the invaluable charitable work the pupils undertake in our local community and the sports activities we offer, these are the things that we believe make the school what it is and produce rounded and accomplished young adults.
However, you may be surprised to learn that none of the additional activities and opportunities that the school currently offers and which we believe underpin the very essence of what our school is about, are funded by the Department of Education.
We have only been able to offer these activities by the careful management of our school budget, the goodwill of committed teachers who volunteer their own time freely and the financial support of well-wishers and sponsors.
The Board of Governors of Ballymena Academy firmly believes that education should be properly funded from central government. However, as pressure on education budgets increases, the harsh reality is that we are increasingly reliant on contributions from parents, alumni and friends of the school to allow us to continue to offer the additional activities that make the school what it is.