General Teaching Council Northern Ireland

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Colleges' funding


24/06/2008 :: Northern Ireland :: The Irish News

Sir Reg Empey said yesterday that he had no intention of closing either St Mary's or Stanmillis teacher training colleges.

The employment and learning minister also announced "conversion funding'' for the next two years to help them adjust to a new funding formula based on student numbers instead of a block grant.

A motion urging a delay in the introduction of the new model - which the colleges fear will cut their funding - was withdrawn in the assembly.

St Mary's University College in west Belfast, which trains teachers for Catholic schools, is facing a fifth cut to its intake in the last five years as pupil numbers at schools fall.

Stranmillis, in the south of the city, is facing similar pressures and is the subject of a possible merger with Queen's University Belfast.

However, Sir Reg said there was enormous potential for both colleges and he did not believe Northern Ireland was about to become an 'ethos free' zone.

He said he proposed the conversion funding over a two-year period to give them a stable platform to work out a way forward with the government.



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