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Teachers' jobs 'safe'

Peter Peacock last week assured secondary heads that the Executive was on target to meet its commitments on staffing.

"Recruitment into our universities is buoyant and we have seen huge increases in maths and English, a doubling since 2002-03. In chemistry, there has been a 270 per cent increase," the Education Minister said.

Mr Peacock promised that intakes to universities would be increased to lift the numbers of supply staff available.

"The extra probationers we have put into the system this year significantly overtakes the number of vacancies in the system," he said. "There will still be subject shortages in particular parts of the country but overall we are overtaking the shortages and the vacancy rate we had," he said.

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