30 Mar

Education cuts are Sinn Fein cuts

Ulster Unionist Party education spokesperson Danny Kinahan MLA has said no one should be fooled by Minister O’Dowd’s continual buck passing on his education cuts.

The South Antrim MLA said: “Minister O’Dowd cannot be allowed to use the ‘blame Westminster austerity’ line for what are his decisions on his education budget. His reported comments at the recent teacher union conferences are buck passing of the highest order. If the Minister really wants to know what austerity looks like, he need only look south to the Republic of Ireland, an economy which he wants us to be shackled to.

“The fact is that in January, when Sinn Fein and the DUP voted for the budget, Minister O’Dowd claimed, “There is no reduction to schools delegated budgets”. His party colleague Mr Hazard added, “This additional money will go a long way in helping to protect frontline services such as the jobs of teaching and non-teaching staff.” (more…)

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19 Mar

Swann welcomes Stranmillis proposal on teacher training

Robin Swann MLA, Ulster Unionist Party spokesperson on Employment and Learning, has welcomed proposals from Stranmillis College regarding the future of teacher training in Northern Ireland.

Mr Swann said: “I welcome the fact that Stranmillis has entered the public debate on the future of teacher training in Northern Ireland. Their proposal deserves serious consideration from the Minister of Employment and Learning in the first instance, and ultimately the Stormont Executive.

“We have had literally years of reviews, reports and consultations. However, since the publication of the latest international panel review last summer, the debate has been diverted onto the issue of the premia and the funding of Stranmillis and St Mary’s teacher training colleges. The Minister promised consultation around the 4 broad options which emerged in the report, but that simply has not materialised. (more…)

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12 Mar

Stranmillis proposes universities move to its Belfast site

via BBC News: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-31841172

Management and staff at Stranmillis College have proposed that Queen’s and Ulster universities move their teacher training departments to the Stranmillis site, the BBC has learned.

The proposal is in a letter from Professor Sir Desmond Rea, the chair of Stranmillis’ governing body, to the vice-chancellors of both universities.

The letter also says that St Mary’s should also be invited to move to Stranmillis in south Belfast. The letter was written on 19 February.

That was a week after Employment and Learning Minister Stephen Farry was overruled by the executive in his attempt to remove more than £2m from the budgets of St Mary’s and Stranmillis colleges.

St Mary’s University College and Stranmillis University College are the two main teacher training providers in Northern Ireland. (more…)

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6 Mar

Lunn hopes for further progress on Integrated Education

Alliance Education spokesperson, Trevor Lunn MLA, has marked International Integrated Education Week by hosting an NICIE event in Stormont for pupils and teachers.

Trevor Lunn MLA said: “There has been a marked change in progress on Integrated Education since the Drumragh legal ruling last year. This court case confirmed the obligation imposed on the Department of Education to facilitate and encourage the development of integrated schools.

“As a result we have seen a number of Integrated schools across Northern Ireland receive approval for capital builds and an expansion in numbers. (more…)

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4 Mar

John O’Dowd: Northern Ireland schools could see 1,500 jobs go

Education Minister John O’Dowd has said schools will likely see 500 job losses for teachers and 1,000 for non-teaching staff due to £28m cuts to his budget.

He made the comments at the education committee where he described the budget as the worst he has had to implement.

However, the minister said it was too early to tell the full impact of the reduction in his budget.

Mr O’Dowd said it would be May or June before he had all the information from schools. (more…)

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4 Mar

Hazzard welcomes minister’s commitment to STEM subjects

Sinn Féin Education Spokesperson Chris Hazzard has welcomed the commitment of the Education Minister John O’Dowd to promote the STEM subjects.

Mr Hazzard said, “The subjects of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) are subjects that are having a bigger impact in the modern world as we see major technological advances in the way we work and live and we need to ensure that they are promoted if we are develop our economy.

“Todays motion is about ensuring that our children are given the proper tools to compete in a modern world and that we develop an education system that embraces and encourages these subjects. (more…)

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