Danny Kinahan MLA, Ulster Unionist Education spokesperson says that School Principals must be given the powers to act decisively following comments from the Public Accounts Committee that schools have not acted strongly enough in dealing with the poor performance of some teachers.
Mr Kinahan said,
“Northern Ireland`s Teachers are the education system`s most valuable assets and we need to encourage them to flourish and thrive in the school environment.
“We recognise that teachers are at present under more pressure than they have been and we need to give them all the support we can.
“However we should also be bold enough to recognise where some are not able to maintain the standard of others. In the few incidences where teachers do not make the grade, it places added pressure on other teachers and children`s ability to learn.
“The committee may have called upon schools to act more decisively in dealing with teachers who do not make the grade, but the schools and the principals need the powers to do exactly that. At present school principals are often powerless to act. Principals need powers to act against teachers who fail to make the grade even after appropriate support and retraining. You cannot blame the schools if the Education authorities have not given them the appropriate powers in the first place.
“There has been too much focus on centralising powers in the current Education debate.”