General Teaching Council Northern Ireland

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Ruane - Addresses Teachers' Union Conference



Education Minister, Caitríona Ruane, addressed the National Association of School Masters/Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT) in Enniskillen.

Speaking to delegates the Minister said: “As Education Minister I want to focus on delivering higher quality education in schools. I want to see greater fairness for pupils, with resources going to classrooms where teachers and staff face the biggest challenges.

“Many within the education sector here in the north have acknowledged that change is long overdue and the time for transformation is now. Transfer 2010 is part of much wider reforms including the introduction of the Revised Curriculum, the review of Irish Medium Education and the establishment of the Education Skills Authority (ESA). Equality is at the core of all the reforms in education.

“I have now issued guidelines for Transfer 2010 for consultation and am pleased many within the education sector support my decisions. I will no longer allow a system to continue that provides the best education for some whilst ignoring the most disadvantaged in our society. I encourage all involved in education to respond to this consultation which ends on 27 April 2009.

“It is within our schools that Principals and teachers know best how to meet the demands of our children and young people. It is quality teaching that, more than anything else, will determine the quality of learning. That is why from January 2010 resources will be targeted through ESA directly to schools. I want to give teaching professionals the flexibility to deliver in a way that best meets the needs of their pupils.”

Speaking about the recent 2009/2010 Budget Allocations the Minister said: “The budget allocations announced on 6 March 2009 highlight the ongoing commitment by my Department to maximise resources delegated directly to schools’ budgets. The record level budget announcement of almost £1.9billion was good news for the education sector but was not without difficulty.

“I know that many within the education sector have expressed concern about planned changes to the arrangements for compensating teachers who wish to retire prematurely. I have identified £6million within my budget for this which will assist employing authorities to manage the impact of any teacher redundancies in 2009.”

The Minister concluded: “Through my Department’s initiatives and reforms I want to continue to work with Principals, teachers and staff to provide the support they need and want. By working together we can build an education system that is marked by quality and equality, where all our children can reach their full potential. "



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