March 5 In the Press

Northern Secretary Gerry Murphy at INTO conference

Mental health, menopause and budget cuts high on agenda at INTO conference

By ELEANOR McGILLIE

HUNDREDS of delegates will gather in Newry this weekend (March 6&7) for the Northern Conference of the INTO where senior officials will address issues such as mental health and menopause which are key issues affecting staff and pupils in every school in Northern Ireland.

Northern Secretary Gerry Murphy and his team of senior officials will be welcoming the Education Minister Peter Weir MLA as well as the union’s president, Feargal Brougham, who will both address the 152nd Northern Conference at the Canal Court Hotel.

Key issues on the agenda for this year’s two day Northern Conference includes calls for an urgent resolve to the current teachers’ industrial dispute, calls for the Minister for Education to deliver on his commitments, reaffirmation that the Northern Committee will continue its noncooperation with the Education and Training Inspectorate until the current industrial dispute is resolved while seeking to establish a new working relationship with the new ETI Chief Inspector.

Speaking ahead of conference, Mr Murphy said: “We greatly welcome the restoration of the Executive and the commitment contained in the ‘New Decade, New Approach’ deal and we welcome the Minister for Education, Peter Weir MLA, to address conference.

“There will be a lot of discussions around many key issues which are affecting education in Northern Ireland which ultimately affect our members. We will be discussing issues such as mental health in classrooms and how we support our members, we’ll be highlighting the ongoing lack of resources for Special Educational Needs and the undue stress this is causing staff in schools and support services.

“We’ll be highlighting issues surrounding a lack of support in classrooms for female teachers who are going through the menopause, budget cuts, the continued problems stemming from the ever increasing classroom sizes and the detrimental impact this has on pupils and staff.

“The INTO continues to support its members by taking action on many issues which continue to affect our teachers who are delivering education to our children under increasingly difficult circumstances.”

This year’s conference will take place on Friday and Saturday and can be followed on a live stream at www.into.ie/ni and on Twitter @INTO_NI

ENDS:

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 07709805379
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