Northern Ireland

INTO conference: Teachers set to discuss pay, recruitment and funding at Belfast event

Teachers from across Northern Ireland will attend the conference this weekend
Teachers from across Northern Ireland will attend the conference this weekend (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Teacher pay, recruitment and special educational needs will be among the issues discussed at this weekend’s Irish National Teachers’ Organisation (INTO) conference.

The teaching union will hold its annual northern conference in Belfast where teachers from across the north will debate issues affecting the teaching profession and education.

The theme of this year’s conference is Stronger Together, with other issues such as pensions and school funding, including cuts to the Engage Programme, on the agenda.

The newly appointed Stormont education minister Paul Givan is due to speak at the two-day event, which begins on Friday.

Other speakers will include Belfast deputy lord mayor Áine Groogan, INTO northern committee chair Caoimhin MacColaim and INTO president Dorothy McGinley.

The conference comes as teaching unions are involved in talks about wage increases.

Just a few weeks ago, the north’s five teaching unions agreed to postpone any further strike action after meeting Mr Givan.

The conference sets the agenda for INTO in the north, and each year sets the work programme for the northern committee and the officials of the union for the coming year.

INTO northern secretary Mark McTaggart said: “I am delighted to welcome delegates from across the north to the annual INTO northern conference, held at the Europa Hotel in Belfast.

“The past number of years have been incredibly challenging.

“Our fight for a fair pay settlement for our members was long and arduous, culminating in the largest ever campaign of industrial action to take place in the region.

Mark McTaggart, INTO northern secretary
Mark McTaggart, INTO northern secretary

“However, we gather in Belfast, united in our purpose and stronger together.

“This conference is a platform for us to come together, raise our voices, and demand real change.

“We must hold the Executive accountable for the lack of investment in our schools, and work towards resolving the ongoing recruitment and retention crisis that is plaguing our education system.

“Together, we can ensure that every child in Northern Ireland has access to a quality education.”