Belfast Telegraph

Budget cuts: One in 10 Northern Ireland teachers facing the axe

By Amanda Ferguson

Budget cuts could result in one in 10 teachers losing their jobs, unions have warned.

The Department of Education has to make nearly £200m of savings which could result in up to 2,000 teacher redundancies.

The department published its draft budget for 2015/16 yesterday and indicated “there will be implications for jobs”.

Annual resource spending will be slashed by £162m and capital building works will be cut by £36m.

On average each school in Northern Ireland will lose £66,000, the equivalent of three teachers salaries.

Unions have said the “disastrous” budget threatened the delivery of quality education here.

The Irish National Teachers' Organisation said the damage done will take two decades to overcome and urged Stormont education minister John O'Dowd to "think again".

Northern secretary Gerry Murphy said: “The Department of Education is seeking to cut £162.5m from the Resource Budget.

“This decision alone indicates the value that DE places on the sacrifice, pain and hard work of all those who have struggled over the previous 4 years to deliver quality education to all children in our schools in the face of already savage cuts.

“Their efforts are now to be discarded in the face of financial efficiency.

“Teachers have endured pay freezes, attacks on their pensions and increased workload coupled with incessant demands for change.

“This budget demonstrates that these sacrifices have all been for nought.

“INTO members have had their efforts rewarded with real threats to their job security and further increases in already intolerable workloads.

“In addition, our young people will now be taught in larger classes; the increasing numbers of young people requiring additional learning supports will not have their needs met and ultimately education standards will decline as systems collapse.

“Education provision is already crumbling with the poorest suffering most.

“After 4 years of cuts, schools will be unable to cope with this level of additional financial burden.

“Even the nutritional standards underpinning school meals will suffer as a consequence of this disastrous budget.”

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