FRIDAY, JUNE 1: No permanent teaching staff will be made redundant, Education Minister Dame Jennifer Smith pledged today.
Dame Jennifer said: “Even with the increased Primary 1 enrolment, there are more teachers at the primary level than there are classes.
“However, we are committed to ensuring that no permanent staff will be made redundant.”
Dame Jennifer said that some teachers have been redeployed, while others will be used as support teachers — filling in where needed.
She added: “The use of support teachers will reduce the need for some substitute teachers, thereby making a budget saving too.”
Dame Jennifer said that the Ministry would continue to reduce its spending “through attrition.”
She added: “We have put this commitment into action across the board with the Bermuda Union of Teachers, the Bermuda Public Services Union and the Bermuda Industrial Union.”
Ms Smith added that new coaching positions designed to get teachers up to speed in Cambridge syllabus core subjects of maths, English and science at both primary and middle school level.
Mentor teachers — who usually provide orientation and instruction for new teachers – will have their role expanded to career development for established educators, as well as working in schools that need extra support.
New “teacher leader” posts will also be introduced, with an emphasis on teacher leadership in maths, science, language, arts and social studies.
Dame Jennifer said: “These moves have been made for reasons of equity, professional renewal, teaching level alignment, subject area needs and teacher expertise.”
Teaching assistants and some counselling staff have also been transferred around the schools system to take account of changing needs.
Ms Smith was speaking after the May 31 deadline for all permanent staff to be told if they are going to be transferred.
She said: “These changes are the product of time, effort and consultation with the Bermuda Union of Teachers and the Association of School Principals. Our unions continue to drive a hard bargain and in many cases, compromises were struck.”