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Hyland - Sinn Féin meet Education Minister to discus teachers' pay and Middletown

6 July, 2004

Sinn Féin Education Spokesperson, Newry Armagh MLA Davy Hyland speaking after meeting British NIO Education Minister Barry Gardiner this week said that Sinn Féin raised concerns about the ongoing dispute over teachers' pay including UPS2 pay scales, the delay in purchasing the site for the All Ireland Centre of Excellence for Children with Autism in Middletown, County Armagh, progress on the Costello report on the 11+ and the difficulties facing rural primary school principles.

Speaking today Mr Hyland said:

"While I appreciate that Barry Gardiner is new to his job it is vital that he get to grips with some of the central outstanding issues facing the department.

"The foot dragging by previous direct rule ministers, particularly in relation to the ending of the unfair and damaging 11+, the setting up of the All Ireland Centre of Excellence for Children with Autism in Middletown and teachers pay, must be addressed urgently.

"I am also concerned that there is little recognition of the pressures facing rural primary schools and the workloads of their principles." ENDS

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