John Trueman, Director of ASCL Northern Ireland, responds to a letter from the chief executives of the seven main education bodies in Northern Ireland, urging Chris Heaton-Harris to “end the cycle of chronic underfunding”.
“We welcome the letter to the Secretary of State from the seven chief executives and support all the sentiments expressed through it.
“Children, young people, teachers, support staff and leaders do not receive a fair deal in comparison to the rest of the UK - staff are paid significantly less than those doing the same job in England, Scotland and Wales, and the current funding is insufficient to provide the full range of services required by the students in the system. The dedicated staff working in our schools continue to deliver in spite of all these pressures, but the current situation is unsustainable.
“We are facing the prospect of a recruitment and retention crisis, with little incentive to join the profession and a growing number of staff leaving, as the goodwill of teachers and leaders dwindles. For too long our school leaders and teachers have carried the burden of making it work, but surely the time has now come for political leaders - whether that be the Secretary of State or the local parties - to make education a priority.”