SDLP release – McGrath: Teacher training funding should be reinstated

“I think it is appalling that the Civil Service has taken the decision to deny funding to SCoTENS – a cross border initiative that covers all aspects of teacher training. This is an organisation – the only such network that exists – that seeks to foster the wellbeing of teachers from all across this island by bringing them together on a cross border basis through conferences and research projects. It also allows student teachers from Dublin and Belfast to get much needed teacher training experience in cross border schools.

SDLP release: McGrath: Teacher training funding should be reinstated“In these days of uncertainty over the future of north-south relations in the face of Brexit it seems a very political decision that has been taken. I think it is disingenuous to suggest that funding should be denied on the basis of financial constraints when you consider that this body only received £25,000 in funding from the north and a similar figure from the south. How such a figure cannot be found is beyond me.

“These are decisions that a minister should be taking. In the absence of a Stormont Executive I appreciate the hard work the civil service is engaged in, however, it sets a dangerous precedent when an unelected official takes a decision to end funding for such a cross border initiative as this when we are trying to do all that we can to enhance north south relations.

“Therefore, I shall be writing to the Permanent Secretaries of the Department for Education and the Department of the Economy and to David Sterling to implore that this funding is reinstated as a matter of urgency. If this is denied it will only raise further questions.”