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Union in education shake-up call

Wrangling and indecision is jeopardising the education of an entire generation of children, according to Northern Ireland’s biggest teaching union.

The ongoing failure to establish the Education and Skills Authority (ESA) means vital funds are being wasted, staff being made redundant and class sizes rising.

Delegates of the NASUWT, which has 13,000 members in Northern Ireland, have condemned the delays to education reform in a motion debated at the union’s annual conference in Glasgow.

Seamus Searson, NASUWT Northern Ireland organiser, said: “I call on the political parties to commit now to establishing the Education and Skills Authority as we approach the elections on May 5. The children of Northern Ireland deserve better, and so do their teachers.”

ESA was due to take over the functions of the education and library boards and other bodies like the CCMS last year, but the necessary legislation has yet to go through the Assembly.

Chris Keates, general secretary of NASUWT, added: “The current situation in Northern Ireland has left teachers confused and let down children who deserve to have their education considered a priority. The time has come to stop the bickering”.

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