INTO hails £33m investment ‘a step in the right direction’ for region’s economy
By Eleanor McGillie
IRELAND’s largest teachers’ union has welcomed the ‘Investing in the Teaching Workforce’ scheme describing it as “a major investment in addressing underachievement, raising standards and delivering 500 professional jobs to the economy in the North”.
The news announced today by the Minister for Education John O’Dowd, is a scheme, initiated by the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation, which will see a £33million cash injection aimed at refreshing our education system.
Gerry Murphy, INTO’s Northern Secretary said the scheme’s aims are to create job opportunities in Northern Ireland so newly qualified teachers would not take their skills elsewhere but also to give experienced teachers the opportunity to leave.
Mr Murphy said INTO has repeatedly argued that education is the main priority for the development of the economy and said today’s announcement was ‘a step in the right direction’.
He said: “The initial idea for this scheme came from INTO and was driven by two factors – the increasing number of newly qualified teachers who graduated and immediately left our shores to take their skills and talents elsewhere and a teaching workforce who want to leave the service after a lifetime commitment to teaching with dignity.
“This scheme ticks these boxes and for the first time it will provide permanent employment for up to 500 recently qualified teachers. It is an extremely welcome Christmas present amongst stories of cuts and austerity.”
He added: “For too long schools have been supported with short term funding and initiatives to improve educational outcomes or address underachievement. These schemes are always welcome but ultimately their impact is short lived and benefits only a small range of pupils.
“Today’s announcement changes that. The lives of up to 500 teachers could be changed and as a result the educational experience of all the children that come within their orbit.
“The proposed scheme will haves its critics but INTO has repeatedly argued that education is the main priority for the development of our economy. This is one major piece in that jigsaw and we applaud the Minister for agreeing to take forward our scheme in his announcement today.
The founder of INTO, Vere Foster said: “The greatness of a nation is measured by the education of its people.
“We urge schools to embrace this scheme when it is rolled out in early 2016 and start to put education centre stage in the economy of the North.”
NOTES TO EDITOR:
- INTO is the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation. It is the largest teachers’ union in Ireland. INTO has a Northern Office and a Southern Office. The Northern Office is based at Vere Foster House, 23 College Gardens, Belfast.
- For interview requests or further information contact Eleanor McGillie of MGMPR Ltd on 028 3756 9569 | 07709805379| PR Northern Ireland | Public Relations Northern Ireland | Brand Journalism Northern Nireland | Brand Journalism UK | Brand Journalism Experts | Public Relations UK |