Long welcomes PM’s backing over desegregated teacher training

Alliance MP Naomi Long has welcomed Prime Minister David Cameron’s backing that teacher training in Northern Ireland should be desegregated in order to help tackle the cost of division here.

East Belfast MP Mrs Long, speaking during Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons today (Wednesday), revealed the stark figure that it costs 40 per cent more to train teachers in Northern Ireland than England.

Mrs Long also expressed her concern that despite commitments from other parties in the recent Stormont House Agreement to tackle the cost of division, Alliance proposals to desegregate teacher training had been vetoed by those same Executive parties.

“Alliance is truly committed to integrated education, unlike other parties who have now clearly set out their stall publicly on it. This extends to addressing teacher training,” she said.

“My colleague, Minister Stephen Farry, recently set out options which addressed shortcomings, while respecting pluralism and diversity. But other parties instead decided to continue diverting scarce resources into propping up an unsustainable and segregated system.

“I was pleased the Prime Minister agreed with me on this issue, saying what we need is a shared approach on teacher training in order to reduce costs, deliver a better service and improve relations right across our community. As a party to the Stormont House Agreement, it is now up to his Government to hold other parties to account for their failure to deliver on their promises.”


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