Minister ‘must try harder’ on teacher replacement scheme

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Tuesday, July 5th, 2016
The SDLP Education spokesperson Colin McGrath has commented on the news that the teacher replacement scheme is to go ahead. teacherSpeaking to Newry Times, he said, “This is a scheme squeezed in at the end of term and under a cloud created by Brexit. “I have spoken to dozens of teachers desperately concerned about the impact the Minister’s decision will have on their lives. They personally feel let down by Peter Weir who had worked closely with many of them on this issue when he was a member of the committee. “All confidence that when he became minister he would resolve the problem has been dashed. If you were marking a paper which came up with this as a solution, you’d send it back covered in red, saying ‘Must try harder’. He continued, “In a bid to make an imperfect system work and an imperfect decision by the Minister more relevant, I would urge him to extend the scheme from five to ten years. The problem in the system emerged over the last fifteen years which means anyone who has graduated in that time has struggled to find permanent work.
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July 2016“The personal cost is tremendous. There are teachers in Northern Ireland who have been searching for a permanent job since qualifying and as a result find it almost impossible to take long-term decisions such as buying houses or having children. McGrath added, “As politicians we must listen to people who are impacted by the decisions we make, and if there is a chance for us to put it right, we should act.”
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