Sinn Féin MLA Pat Sheehan has called on the DUP education minister to give clarity on the future of the Engage II programme for schools.
The West Belfast MLA said:
“The Engage programmes were put in place to address the impact that the pandemic has had on children and young people’s education.
“I recently met with school representatives, and they were clear, they want to see the Engage programme remain in place.
“Funding from the scheme provides additional teaching jobs which helps schools target tuition to those who have fallen behind or who may be at risk of falling behind due to school closures or absences throughout the pandemic.
“The lack of clarity from the education minister on the future of the Engage Programme is creating uncertainty for schools, it’s limiting their ability to plan for the coming school year and many teachers who were employed under this scheme don’t know if they will have a job in September.
“This is a scheme which the Executive has already endorsed so the Minister should act without delay, identify the necessary funding from within her own budget and give our schools certainty over the future of the programme.
“The education minister along with her party colleagues should get back into the Executive without delay so we can get on with the work of supporting our schools and our young people.”