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McGuinness - School Principals Told To Make Teachers Redundant

21 April, 2005

Sinn Féin MP for Mid-Ulster and former Education Minister Martin McGuinness has said that he is appalled after being contacted by a number of principals in the North Eastern Board area who informed him that they have been told to start making teaching staff redundant from the end of April.

Mr McGuinness said:

" The issue of cuts in the Education Board budgets has been a major issue in recent weeks. Over the past number of days I have been contacted by principals of schools in the North Eastern area who were summoned to a meeting on Tuesday of this week by the Chief Executive of the North Eastern Board. The principals whose schools are in deficit were told to start making teaching staff redundant from the end of this month.

" This is an appalling and completely unacceptable situation. The principals I have spoken to are adamant that these job cuts will greatly affect their ability to deliver a first class education to the children in their schools.

" If this scenario is repeated across the other Board areas then I have no doubt that we are looking at hundreds of teachers being made redundant and the negative knock on effect which this will have on the education of our children is obvious.

" Sinn Féin have been seeking an urgent meeting with the Minister Barry Gardiner to discuss the whole issue of the cuts in the Education Board and the news of teacher redundancies across our schools makes this engagement even more critical." ENDS

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