Education Minister has commended the contribution of teachers

Date published: 04 March 2016

Education Minister John O’ Dowd has commended the huge contribution teachers make to society and their role in the future of our young people.

Addressing delegates at the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation Northern Annual Conference in Templepatrick the Minister said: 

“Teachers and educators, appreciate the vital contribution that education has to make, to the future success of our society.  You help instil the value of education and each of you play your part in inspiring our young people to proudly take their place in our society and our economy.

“Our young people have a right to a first rate education.  My aim as Education Minister is to ensure that each and every young child can make the most of the opportunities available to them.  While there is more work to do, much progress has been made and I thank you for your contribution and the vital role you play in supporting our young people.”

Referring to the Investing in Teachers Workforce Scheme Mr O’ Dowd commented:

“The Investing in the Teaching Workforce Scheme came about at the request of the unions. The proposals would enable teachers aged 55+ to have the opportunity to leave the profession, creating job opportunities for those recently qualified teachers who have the greatest difficulty in securing meaningful employment.

“£33million to fund the scheme was secured from the Executive on the basis that the overall aim was to refresh the teaching workforce, provide up to an additional 500 job opportunities which would not otherwise exist and make savings to the public purse.

“In each of the last five years there have been in the region of 500 full time job opportunities for teachers.  However, for these job opportunities, teachers who have qualified in recent years have the least chance of gaining employment.

“There have been calls for the scheme to be opened up to all teachers without a permanent post.    Opening up this scheme to any teacher without a permanent post will not refresh the workforce; will not provide job opportunities to those who face the greatest barriers to gaining a permanent teaching post; and will not save public money as required under the agreement which secured funding from the Executive.

“Despite all of this, I continue to hear calls from several quarters to open the scheme to all. In response I have submitted a paper to my Executive colleagues outlining several options on the way forward. The scheme and its future is now in the hands of the Executive.”

Notes to editors: 

  1. The Department of Education’s ‘Education Works’ campaign promotes the value of education. This year’s campaign aims to ensure that parents have information on schooling and that they are aware of the steps they can take to ‘Get Involved’ and support their teenager in achieving good outcomes at school. Watch out for the ads on television, radio and outdoor locations. The campaign highlights the vital role families can play in helping children do well at school and improve their life chances. Visit nidirect - Education Works for more information or watch the TV ad on the Department’s YouTube channel.
  2. See photos from the Department of Education in our flickr collection.
  3. Media enquiries to the Department of Education’s Communications Team on Tel: 028 9127 9268. Out of office hours contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07699715440 and your call will be returned.

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