Concerns over teaching scheme

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Lagan Valley Assembly Member Paul Givan has raised concerns about the proposed Teaching Workforce Scheme with the Education Minister John O’Dowd after local constituents raised issues with the Assembly Member.

“There is a widespread concern about how the proposed scheme to replace 500 older teachers with 500 recently qualified teachers will operate and I have raised those concerns with the Education Minister directly,” said Mr Givan.

“It is important that the process used will be one that is fair and the scheme being devised by the Department, working the Teaching Unions and Employers, is one that will be effective.

“A career in teaching is one that is vitally important for our society and is hugely rewarding to see children achieving their very best potential.

“For teachers that have worked over many years the opportunity to retire early through this scheme is one that some may take up but no one should feel under any pressure to leave the profession they love and have dedicated their lives too.

“Experienced teachers are vital to the successful running of our education system and newly qualified teachers need to be given the opportunity to start their careers which this scheme seeks to deliver.

“The concerns that have been raised with me are from people that are qualified for more than the current proposal of three years and would not be entitled to apply for a job under this scheme.

“The Minister in his response has indicated that options are being considered that allow more than three years to be considered whilst still achieving the objectives underpinning this scheme.”

Mr. Givan added, “It is important that this scheme is got right for everyone concerned and our education system is effective at delivering for our children.”