Right across Northern Ireland, the number of children attending school is FALLING. So why is anyone surprised that we need fewer teachers?
Hundreds of teachers could be made redundant this year when cuts to school budgets are implemented, it has been warned. The SDLP believes more than 150 teaching posts will be chopped in the Belfast Education and Library Board (BELB) area alone — and, as a result, class sizes will climb. However, there are four other education and library boards who also employ teachers as well as the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools (CCMS). The Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) has put the Northern Ireland-wide figure at 1,000 in the next academic year but rising to 3,000. It follows a |decision by the Department of Education to reduce the amount of funding available to schools from this September.
Now, let’s dispense with the shroud waving 3000 lost jobs figure. It will be nothing like that. But can someone explain WHY we should not expect to have fewer teachers when we have fewer pupils? Are teacher jobs to be sacrosanct, immune to economic reality? It’s not that I wish anyone to lose their job BUT nor do I think we should be asked to fund what we do not need nor cannot afford.