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Teachers marked down over stress levels report

By Noel McAdam

Published 30/11/2015

John O'Dowd
John O'Dowd

Stormont's Education Minister has marked down head teachers in the province - for failing to get their report in.

Instead Sinn Fein Minister John O'Dowd claimed his officials had to go and ask for it.

And as a result, he said he has not had time to assess the report which shows increased levels of stress among head teachers.

Mr O'Dowd complained: "The NAHT did not share a copy of their recent survey with me, so my officials had to request the same which has just been received.

"As such, I am not in a position to make a fully informed assessment of the findings," he added in a written Assembly answer.

The National Association of Head Teachers has, however, insisted they sent the Sinn Fein minister a copy and welcomed a meeting with him.

NI official Fern Turner said: "This survey reinforces the findings of a DENI survey which was carried out more than 10 years ago. It is of concern that little was put in place even at that stage to reduce pressures under which school leaders were working.

"Indeed since the last survey the support structures that were in place in the past have been seriously eroded as a consequence of reorganisations and budget cuts."

Mr O'Dowd, however, added: "The health of school principals, is a matter of the utmost importance to me. I am aware of the well-being issues faced by all of our teachers."

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