Scheme To Replace Older Teachers With Newly Qualified Staff To Begin

A controversial scheme which allows teachers aged over 55 to retire early and be replaced by newly qualified teachers is to begin, Education Minister Peter Weir has confirmed.

The Investing in the Teaching Workforce Scheme had originally been announced last December and it was intended to launch in Spring 2016, however plans were delayed following concerns in relation to the criteria for the scheme.

Minister Weir said: "It is clear that many new and recently qualified graduates have experienced the greatest difficulty in finding meaningful teaching positions.
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"As a consequence the Investing in Teaching Workforce Scheme has been developed to help graduates find permanent employment and to release those teachers aged 55+ who wish to leave the profession.

"I have had time to consider all the concerns raised and explore further options in relation to the criteria for recently qualified teachers who will be eligible to apply for the posts. On that basis, I have decided that the criteria will be extended to include graduates who have qualified since 2012 and I am pleased to announce my intention to launch the Scheme this September, on a pilot basis."

It is estimated that up to 120 teachers aged 55+ will, at their own request, be secured for release from the teaching profession by the 31 March 2017. However, the timing of their release from the profession will be subject to the recruitment of a recently qualified teacher, in accordance with the criteria, and the circumstances for each school.


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