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2 thoughts on “Committee for Education Meeting 06 January 2016

  1. As a parent of a pupil who is in a Grammar school that is integrated in terms of religion or “shared education” I think that it is very short sighted of the committee to just fund schools as “shared” in a pseudo fashion rather than where it actually is happening day to day.

  2. To Whom It May Concern,
    My name is Caroline McVey and I am a temporary teacher, working and living in Northern Ireland. The Education Minister for Northern Ireland has released plans for a scheme called “Investing in Teaching workforce”, which allows teachers aged 55+ to retire early, on condition that the roles are filled with newly qualified teachers.
    As a qualified and experienced teacher, I feel that this scheme discriminates against me, on the grounds of age. The minister claims that the scheme is not discriminatory, as it is a financial issue, however the Director of workforce Development, La’ Verne Montgomery stated at a meeting of the Education Committee on the 6th January, that the focus is clearly on age. In fact, below are a few quotes in which she particularly mentions how the scheme favours “younger” teachers:
    Younger teachers are not getting the opportunity to take employment. 32 mins approx

    The impact is on age. 36 mins approx

    …give opportunities to our new graduates, who are most recently trained…..new thinking and new approaches. 38 mins approx

    The age profile of the teaching workforce has less than 400 young teachers in our system. 37 mins approx

    We are letting older teachers go and quite deliberately looking at younger teachers to give them the opportunities. 37 mins approx.

    https://niassembly.tv/video/education-06-january-2016/

    At this meeting, Ms Montgomery agrees that this is discrimination, however figures held by the GTCNI, which in her opinion, show that the age group 24 and under are underrepresented in the teaching workforce, justify discrimination.
    I emailed the GTCNI and asked for the relevant information and figures to get a clearer picture of what Ms Montgomery was referring to with the “above 50%” and “below 50%” comments. I was pointed towards the Digest of Statistics on the GTCNI website.
    I also found a major flaw in the validity of these figures. A representative from GTCNI explained that the term “employed” in these figures refers to teachers who are not only permanent, but those in a one year TEMPORARY contract, or covering a TEMPORARY maternity leave, or any TEMPORARY period of cover that lasts more than one term. These figures cannot be used to justify discrimination.
    Therefore it is very difficult to compare the age groups within these figures as I would be sure quite a few of those considered “employed” are in fact temporary teachers, not being paid over the summer, with no rights or sick pay, and have NEVER had a permanent job. A breakdown of these figures can be found in appendix 1.
    Ms Montgomery mentioned as another reason to justify discrimination against more experienced teachers, is the impact that the teacher redundancies have had on “younger” teachers gaining employment. If you look at the figures of each age group from 2006 to 2013 it shows that all age groups have suffered as a result of the tightened budgets, not only the recently qualified, therefore Ms Montgomery’s justification of discrimination does not stand up.
    The figures are as follows:
    Age 24 and under Age 25-30 Age 31-35
    Year Percentage “employed” Year Percentage “employed” Year Percentage “employed”
    2006
    2007
    2008
    2009
    2010
    2011
    2012
    2013 35%
    31%
    35%
    37%
    33%
    30%
    28%
    23% 2006
    2007
    2008
    2009
    2010
    2011
    2012
    2013 70%
    70%
    68%
    68%
    90%
    64%
    57%
    54% 2006
    2007
    2008
    2009
    2010
    2011
    2012
    2013 86%
    84%
    84%
    84%
    83%
    82%
    80%
    79%
    Reduction of 12% . Reduction of 16% Reduction of 7%
    As you can clearly see above, all ages have suffered and experienced a decrease in the numbers of teachers being employed, even in temporary positions, in fact the 25-30 age group has suffered most in the past few years, not the “younger” age group.
    I don’t agree with La’Verne Montgomery’s comments that these figures are sufficient evidence to allow discrimination against a large number of teachers.
    The link to the digest of statistics is as follows, in case you would like to check any of the numbers: http://www.gtcni.org.uk/index.cfm/area/publications/section/ListPub/page/Publications//print/yes

    Thank you for reading my complaint.
    I hope to hear from you soon.

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