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Substitute teaching register in Northern Ireland is 'flawed'

By Anna Maguire

The Education Minister has been challenged to do more for out-of-work teachers, after it emerged that more than 2,500 substitute teachers have been removed from an official register in the past year.

Just over 8,200 teachers are currently listed on Northern Ireland's substitute teachers register.

However, 2,522 substitute teachers have been removed from that register over the past 12 months.

Mervyn Storey, DUP chair of the Assembly's education committee, said the register fails to meet the needs of struggling teachers.

Earlier this year, the Belfast Telegraph revealed that the number of teachers securing jobs in Northern Ireland has plummeted from 89% to just 16% in a decade.

That means that nine out of every 10 teachers who graduated in 2004/5 are today employed in the teaching profession – but less than one in five who qualified in 2012/13 have so far found even temporary work lasting more than one school term.

Mr Storey has called on the Minister to explain why so many substitute teachers have exited the profession in Northern Ireland over just 12 months.

"Either we have a very inefficient register or the basis upon which our whole approach to teacher employment is seriously flawed," he said.

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