Drive to replace hundreds of older teachers will go ahead
A MULTI-million pound drive to replace hundreds of older teachers with younger staff is to finally go ahead.
Following recent completion of the pilot Investing in the Teaching Workforce Scheme, a further plan is being launched which will release up to 200 teachers in 2018/19.
It was originally intended that up to 500 recently qualified graduates would replace those willing to retire early.
Funding for the scheme has been secured from the Public Sector Transformation Fund (PSTF), the Department of Education said.
The pilot was delayed due to a legal challenge.
It was suspended last March after a teacher claimed he was being unlawfully excluded from applying for vacancies because of his greater experience. This was rejected at the High Court.
The department said the judgment confirmed "that there was objective justification for restricting recruitment under the scheme to a specific cohort of recently qualified teachers".
It will operate in 2018/19 on the same basis as the pilot, allowing teachers in permanent posts who are aged 55 and above at April 30 2018 to apply for premature retirement.
This in turn will provide job opportunities for teachers who have qualified in the years 2013 up to and including 2017.