Northern Irish reject PRP plan

23rd April 1999 at 01:00
Performance-related pay is meeting resistance in Northern Ireland, where local authorities have privately condemned the Government's proposals as a "shambles", writes Paul McGill.

Officials from three Education and library boards said PRP will cause chaos in England and Wales. "It is a retrograde step and not really a live idea in Northern Ireland," said a senior education board figure. "We are sitting on our hands because it is a shambles in England," said another. The Ulster Teachers' Union rejected PRP at its annual conference.

Even officials at the Department of Education for Northern Ireland accept the consensus against PRP, as they feel it was designed to solve problems that do not exist locally. Demand for teacher education courses remains high, for example, and there is no shortage of applicants for headships.

If it wishes to stall on PRP, the department has a good excuse: the imminent creation of a new local government under the Good Friday Agreement, which has put a brake on several initiatives, including a new formula for local management of schools funding.

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