‘Education Department happy to exclude experienced teachers’ – Rogers

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Wednesday, January 6th, 2016
Community, Politics
SDLP Education Spokesperson Seán Rogers MLA has grilled Department of Education officials over a proposed scheme aimed at increasing opportunities for newly qualified teachers. teacher£33million has been earmarked for encouraging long serving teachers to retire with newly vacant positions being made available only to teachers who have been graduates for less than three years. Despite advice from the SDLP last year, the scheme still does not apply to teachers who have been working for longer than three years but have been unable to find permanent employment. Rogers questioned the department’s Director of Workforce Development in a meeting of the Education Committee this week. “It is well known that teachers here face one of the most competitive environments to find full-time employment. “As of 2015 around a third of newly qualified teachers were able to secure work including those who could only find a temporary placement. It has forced many to seek opportunities in Britain where teachers are in high demand,” he continued. “The scheme proposed by the Education Minister has its merit but he has made a fatal flaw in overlooking teachers who have been working here or in Britain for many years and are still searching for a permanent position in Northern Ireland. “The Department official described the three year cut-off as the ‘tipping point’ when a higher proportion of teachers find employment. She failed to specify if this employment was permanent. I have heard from many concerned teachers who will be neglected by this scheme, some of whom who have been working as long as nine years. “In excluding them the Minister is excluding teachers who have great talent, have demonstrated a desire to teach and importantly have a wealth of experience in the field. It is unfair that they will be ignored and bewildering that their experience is not valued as an asset,” Rogers added.
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