Northern Ireland - Sickness and supply singled out for savings

23rd July 2010 at 01:00

One of Northern Ireland's education boards is considering a cull of all substitute teaching jobs, as part of its cost-saving measures.

Putting three pupils on two-seater bus seats, not replacing music service staff and raising the cost of school meals by 10p could also be introduced this financial year by the South Eastern Education and Library Board (SEELB).

The savings have been suggested in the proposed resource allocation plans for 201011. A working group of commissioners, put together by education minister Caitriona Ruane, will make its final decisions in the coming months.

As well as removing a budget for supply staff, the SEELB has proposed a review of teaching and non-teaching sickness levels across all schools and headquarters.

Arthur McGarrigle, NI secretary for teaching union the NASUWT, said that cuts would have a detrimental impact on teachers' health. "Teachers will be coming in with ill-health because they will be scared to take time off as that will inconvenience their colleagues," he said.

A spokesman for the SEELB said that discussions on resource allocation were still ongoing. MR.

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