Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 December 2014

Education Minister John O'Dowd to pay off 30 more teachers

Education Minister John O'Dowd
Education Minister John O'Dowd

The Education Minister says he has found the money for 30 teachers' redundancy packages that he had earlier thrown into doubt.

Earlier this week it emerged that dozens of teachers promised redundancy this summer suddenly discovered they may have to work on.

Only 46 were allowed, and only in schools that were closing or amalgamating.

Another 28 who had fulfilled the Department of Education's own criteria were turned down.

Those 28 redundancy applications, plus two more, have now been approved.

But the DUP chairman of Stormont's education committee Mervyn Storey claimed that as many as 160 teachers applied for redundancy.

The news has caused turmoil in schools which had already made budget plans based on the redundancies, but then realised they may have to continue to pay the salaries if teachers are forced to remain.

Education Minister John O'Dowd has pledged to do all he could to resolve the matter.

"I acknowledge that this has been a difficult and uncertain time," he said.

"However, it is important to note that the Department of Education's budget is still under considerable pressure, which is why I have made a bid for additional funding in the June monitoring round."

Mr Storey said questions still remained in relation to the remaining teachers and non-teaching staff and how they will be facilitated. "Certainty must also be given to schools to ensure that, because of this fiasco, their budgets will not be in deficit," he said.

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