SDLP West Tyrone MLA Daniel McCrossan has questioned ongoing issues with the Northern Ireland Supply Teacher Register (NISTR).
After saying issues with the system were resolved last week, the Education Authority has now contacted users informing them that phone lines have been closed “due to extremely high demand”.
Mr McCrossan said schools and teachers were continuing to have issues with the system.
West Tyrone MLA Mr McCrossan said:
“Just last week I highlighted the issues that teachers and schools were experiencing around the new NISTR upon its launch and after assurances from the Education Authority (EA) that the situation has been resolved I have been contacted by a number of teachers and principals who have informed me that phone lines are down and they are experiencing other problems with the system.
“The closure of the phonelines means that teachers can only get in touch with NISTR via email and I have already made contact with the EA asking how big the backlog is, how long it is expected to be before it is cleared and what prompted this closure. One principal has described the situation to me as a ‘shambles’, while a teacher has reported receiving dozens of emails despite being already booked through the system. Another reported having no contact through NISTR and only being informed that she was required for work after a school contacted her directly. Others are concerned whether or not they will receive payment this month. This cannot continue.
“We are into the second week from the launch of this system and already we are in complete disarray. It is difficult enough for schools and teachers at the start of the new school term without dealing with complications as a result of this system. The Education Authority needs to be transparent around the reasons for these issues and detail exactly what steps they are taking to address the concerns of teachers and staff so that further disruption can be avoided.”