Weir launches Investing in the Teaching Workforce Scheme

Date published: 05 September 2016

A proposal to enable teachers aged 55 years and over to be released from the teaching profession, and be replaced by recently qualified teachers has been officially launched today.

The Investing in the Teaching Workforce Scheme will enable up to 120 teachers aged 55 years and over to be released from the teaching profession at their request, providing job opportunities for up to 120 recently qualified teachers, who have qualified in the years from 2012 up to, and including, 2016.

Guidance and an application form for those who wish to apply to be released from the teaching profession, will issue to all schools today. All relevant information will be placed on the Department of Education website.

Education Minister Peter Weir said: “I am pleased to launch the Investing in the Teaching Workforce Scheme which will operate on a pilot basis for 2016/17.

“As well as helping to refresh the teaching workforce it will provide up to 120 job opportunities for recently qualified teachers who have been unable to obtain permanent teaching posts.

“I am aware that recently qualified teachers who are outside the criteria have expressed disappointment; however I must stress that without this scheme these employment opportunities would not exist.

“In recent years, there have been over 750 meaningful teaching job opportunities each year; applications from recently qualified teachers are often the first to be eliminated in the recruitment process, as experience is used as a short listing criteria for these posts.”

Recruitment for recently qualified teachers who wish to apply for the posts which become vacant as a result of the scheme will not be advertised until applications, from teachers aged 55 years and over who wish to be released from the profession, have been assessed and approved. Therefore these posts will not be advertised until Spring 2017.

Notes to editors: 

  1. As part of the Fresh Start talks in 2015, the Executive agreed the Public Sector Transformation Fund (PSTF) was to be used for this Scheme. A total of £8million is being made available in 2016/17 for this Scheme.
  2. The 2016/17 Investing in the Teaching Workforce Scheme will operate as a pilot, and dependent upon the uptake and success, consideration will be given to submitting a bid to the PSTF for an Investing in the Teaching Workforce Scheme in 2017/18.
  3. The Scheme had originally been announced last December and was intended to launch in Spring 2016; however, this was delayed following concerns in relation to the criteria for the Scheme. At this time, those eligible to apply for the vacant posts created under the terms of the Scheme were teachers who had graduated in 2013 up to, and including, 2016. Having listened to these concerns, on 29 June 2016, the Minister announced his intention to extend the criteria to include teachers who had qualified in 2012.
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