Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Teacher Training: Cost

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Employment and Learning – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 2:15 pm on 19th January 2016.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Stephen Farry Stephen Farry Alliance 2:15 pm, 19th January 2016

I am grateful for the Member's supplementary question. Again, it opens a whole range of different issues. The Member and the Assembly will be aware that the teacher-demand model is run by the Department of Education. As I alluded to at the start of my answer, the Department of Education and, indeed, the Minister set the numbers for entry. I have, on many occasions, stated my opinion that those figures are unrealistically high and that we are simply training too many teachers. At times, we are artificially training too many teachers in order to ensure the sustainability of the teacher training colleges rather than promoting an agenda of reform towards, in my view, what should be a single teacher education system for Northern Ireland.

The teacher-demand model, in terms of the Executive, is something that I cannot directly comment upon but, obviously, Members will be aware that, last year, I did propose the removal of the premia that is paid to the teacher training colleges. I think that virtually every other party in the Assembly took a different view on the matter and felt that that was a more worthy expenditure of resource than directly investing in our other colleges and universities to support the particular skills requirements that we need to address in our society.