Belfast Telegraph

Monday 20 October 2014

MLAs investigate £1.2m substitute teachers bill

MLAs are poised to investigate the weekly bill of £1.2m for substitute teachers.

The Assembly's Public Accounts Committee (PAC) will hold a hearing later this year on findings in a report just released by the Northern Ireland Audit Office.

The study revealed that the annual cost of stand-in teachers had soared by 40% over eight years to reach £66m in 2008/09.

It also revealed that education chiefs failed to reach a target of cutting sick leave to an average of six days per teacher per year.

The average sick leave in 2008/09 was 7.8 days, compared to five in English schools.

Veteran PAC member John Dallat said he expected the Committee to agree on a date for a hearing.

This will enable MLAs to quiz senior Departmental officials and then compile their own report.

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