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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.

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

I fully respect that people will want to pursue their passion and that people will have a passion for teaching. We will always have some replacement demand for teachers in our society so there will always be some opportunities in the system but, yet again, we are simply training too many teachers. It is important that anyone who does go into teacher training is realistic about that. Indeed, the skills barometer pointed out those figures very clearly for us.

The Member also alluded to other factors. As we look to the idea of a different system in Northern Ireland, it is not simply an issue about cost; it is also about how we should aspire to train our teachers together. We talk about shared and integrated education but, if we cannot get our teachers trained side by side, it will be very hard for us to credibly promote changes in how we teach our children together. It is also quite clear that, the more that we link our teacher training into the context of the university setting, with that access to high-quality research and that multidisciplinary framework, the further we will also improve the quality of the future provision of our teachers. That is also very much in the interests of the children of Northern Ireland.