Belfast Telegraph

O’Dowd announces additional teaching posts under literacy and numeracy scheme

Stomont Executive press release - Department of Education

Education Minister, John O’Dowd, has announced that an additional 36 recently qualified teachers will be employed on fixed-term contracts to help raise standards in literacy and numeracy.

In October 2012 the First Minister and deputy First Minister announced six Signature Projects under the Delivering Social Change programme. At that time it was announced that 230 recently qualified teachers would be employed on fixed-term contracts to help deliver tuition to children who are currently struggling to achieve expected levels in literacy and numeracy. The Education Minister is now announcing an increase in the number of jobs available.

Minister O’Dowd said: “Raising educational standards and tackling disadvantage is a key priority for me as Education Minister and for the Executive as a whole. The employment of recently qualified teachers on two-year fixed-term contracts as part of the Delivering Social Change Programme will help us to achieve this as it will have a direct impact on the educational outcomes of many pupils. By targeting those who are at risk of underachieving, and by focussing on the core skills of literacy and numeracy, we will ensure more young people can achieve to their full potential.

“Importantly, the scheme will also allow many of our recently qualified teachers to gain valuable experience. The first tranche of posts is being advertised in the press this week and I would encourage those eligible to apply.

“I am pleased to announce that I am funding an expansion of this project, which will see the creation of an extra 36 teaching posts. This expansion will allow more primary schools to benefit from the scheme through the recruitment of an additional 21 teachers, while a further 15 posts are available at post-primary level.”

The Minister continued: “The most recent statistics show that the percentage of our young people achieving at least five GCSEs including GCSE English and maths at grades A*-C continues to rise and that is very encouraging. However, we need to do more and I particularly want to see more pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds achieve to their full potential. The expansion announced today will ensure that every non-selective post-primary will get at least one full-time teacher as part of the scheme and I am confident that will have a positive impact on attainment levels.

“Further details of when the next tranche of posts will be advertised and which schools will benefit will be announced in the next few weeks.”

For the purposes of the Literacy and Numeracy Signature Project – recent graduate teachers will be defined as those who have qualified in the period from June 2010 up to and including the June 2013 cohort of graduate teachers who are not in a permanent teaching post. The applicant, on taking up the post, must be a registered teacher with GTCNI.

Further details about the Project are available on the Western Education and Library Board website at:

Notes to editors:

1. Delivering Social Change is the Executive’s framework established to tackle poverty and social exclusion. In October 2012 the First Minister and deputy First Minister announced the development of six Signature Programmes under the Delivering Social Change framework to improve literacy and numeracy levels, offer increased family support and to support job creation within local communities.
2. The Department of Education is responsible for the implementation of the Literacy and Numeracy Signature Project and has commissioned the Western Education and Library Board as the lead board to work in partnership with the other Employing Authorities to deliver the project over the next two academic years.
3. The Department of Education’s ‘Education Works’ campaign encourages families to play, talk, read and count with their child and to ‘Get Involved Because Education Works’. The campaign highlights the vital role families can play in helping children do well at school and improve their life chances. Visit for more information. Watch the TV ad on the Department’s YouTube channel:
4. See photos from the Department of Education in our collection at

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