Minister on a tightrope
The problem is one of timing. The Executive is committed to finding extra teachers by 2007 to support its commitment to cut class sizes in English and maths in the early years of secondary, to attract more teachers into the arts and PE, and to make a reality of the reduced class contact time for primary teachers. This may be commendable but ambitious at a time when supply is tight and existing vacancies are proving increasingly difficult to fill, no matter how small the proportion. The Education Minister cannot be faulted for effort and we hope it pays off. Meanwhile, he will have to continue walking his tightrope and hope it will be all right on the night.