ELEVEN jobs are under threat in the Department of Education and Children.
The department is to reorganise ‘nurture provision’.
A spokeman said that stand-alone nurture groups, led by teachers, were to be replaced with schools adopting more of a ‘whole school’ approach to nurturing pupils, using education support staff as additional support.
‘Nurture care’ offers support for small numbers of pupils, usually for just part of a school week and for only a proportion of a school year. In some cases this is during class time and in others during breaks.
A number of schools have already changed to the new way of working. Only three of the DEC’s five secondary schools and six of its 34 primary schools now have formal, teacher-led nurture groups.
Teachers at remaining nurture groups were invited to a meeting today (Thursday) at which the department began consultation.
A DEC press statement reads: ‘This consultation will seek their views as to how redundancy can be avoided and will explore redeployment into other suitable vacant posts within education. Eleven posts – the equivalent of nine full-time equivalent staff – are affected.’
Sally Brookes, director of services for children, said pupils requiring more nurturing in order to succeed at school would receive the extra assistance they needed following the change.
‘We have been piloting different approaches to how we deliver nurture support and have found a model that uses education support staff is very effective,’ she said. ‘Children needing extra nurturing still have their learning planned by their class teacher and the support comes from staff who are skilled in providing that support.
‘This change allows us to maintain this quality provision while diverting resources to other areas of services for children’s provision.’
More on this story in Monday’s Examiner