Jobless teachers to give catch-up tuition

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Thousands of Northern Ireland secondary pupils struggling with English and maths are to benefit from one-to-one tuition as part of a scheme to find jobs for out-of-work teachers.

The North’s education minister John O’Dowd says 150 teachers will help improve educational outcomes for pupils.

The North’s first and deputy first ministers first announced the Delivering Social Change Signature Project last year. It will involve the employment of recently graduated teachers, who are without permanent employment, on a two-year fixed-term contract. They will help schools deliver tuition to children who are currently struggling to achieve required levels in literacy and numeracy.

Revealing further details about the scheme, Mr O’Dowd says the aim is to increase the number of post-primary pupils, in particular those entitled to free school meals, achieving a grade C or above in English and maths by the time they leave school.

Schools identified as eligible have been selected using a combination of academic performance and level of entitlement to free school meals. The amount of teaching support each school will receive will vary according to enrolment and performance.

“In its Programme for Government, the Executive has committed to raising educational standards and this £12 million project will help achieve that aim by targeting support where it is most needed,” Mr O’Dowd said. “One hundred and fifty teachers will support students in years 11 and 12 with a further 80 targeted at key stage 2 pupils.”

Schools are now being provided with further information while recently qualified teachers interested in applying are being advised that the jobs will be advertised in early June.

Schools will be required to produce a plan outlining how they will achieve the best outcomes for the pupils identified as requiring additional support. They will also be made aware that the additional resource can only be used as part of the numeracy and literacy scheme.

“The eligible schools assisted by the Education and Library Boards will be recruiting early next month and I would encourage those eligible to apply. The new teachers will be in post from September 2013 as planned,” Mr O’Dowd added.


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