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PM David Cameron backs move to integrate St Mary's and Stranmillis teacher training colleges in Belfast

David Cameron
David Cameron

By Staff Reporter

David Cameron has backed moves to integrate teacher training in Northern Ireland after an MP told him it costs 40% more to train a teacher here than in England.

East Belfast MP Naomi Long was speaking after the Executive overturned a decision to cut a subsidy to two teacher training colleges. St Mary's delivers training for the Catholic sector, while Stranmillis is largely attended by Protestants.

Speaking at Prime Minister's Questions, the Alliance MP told Mr Cameron that unionist and nationalist Executive parties had blocked plans to integrate teacher training - a move that would also save money.

Mr Cameron told the Commons that "we have to break down the barriers between communities".

"We are beginning to see shared campuses for education institutions in Northern Ireland, but we now need to see the sorts of things that she is talking about, such as shared approaches on teacher training, that can reduce costs and deliver a better service," the PM said. "That is what the (Stormont House) Agreement should be about."

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