Lunn says Education Minister’s teacher scheme is potentially discriminatory

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Alliance Education spokesperson Trevor Lunn MLA has said the Education Minister’s £33 million scheme to replace prematurely retiring teachers is potentially discriminatory, as it bars those who have qualified more than three years ago.

Speaking after a meeting of the Education Committee on Wednesday, Mr Lunn said while allowing older teachers to leave the profession early without the reduction of their pension entitlement was a sound idea, only allowing recent graduates to replace them was a mistake.

“The rule that only teachers who have qualified within the last three years can replace those retiring is not only unfair, but potentially legally dubious, as it clearly discriminates against those who graduated longer ago.

“This scheme, like many before it, does nothing to address the basic problem of producing too many graduate teachers year-on-year, and is instead another example of waste and duplication in our public spending.

“It is time we stopped sticking plaster approaches to this issue and tackled the root causes, because our students deserve to be trained to the highest possible standard.”