Social Democratic and Labour Party Education Spokesperson Daniel McCrossan MLA has called for urgent intervention to safeguard children and young people following confirmation from the Chief Executive of the General Teaching Council that the current regulatory framework may leave children at risk.
The West Tyrone MLA said he was appalled to hear that the political failure to restore Stormont during three years of crisis has delayed new legislation needed to allow the regulator to remove teachers from the register.
Daniel McCrossan MLA said:
“The evidence we have heard from the General Teaching Council is deeply troubling. Children in Northern Ireland may be at risk today because the regulator doesn’t have the necessary power to remove teachers deemed to pose a risk from the register. That is totally unacceptable.
“What’s worse is that successive Education Ministers have been aware of the problem and have failed to act decisively. The Chief Executive of the GTC confirmed to me during the committee session today that the failure to restore Stormont for three years put children at risk for that period. That is a damning indictment of the DUP and Sinn Féin.
“We need to hear from the Education Minister urgently. This cannot be allowed to continue indefinitely. Children, their parents and our education system need decisive political intervention.”