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NAHT Northern Ireland

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NAHT Northern Ireland represents principals and vice-principals in around two-thirds of 1,150 schools in Northern Ireland. NAHT Northern Ireland provide advice, training and support for its members on a range of issues faced by senior leaders in schools. Along with our colleagues in England and Wales, we are there to defend and extend the rights of school leaders.  

NAHT NI is democratic and member-led, and supported by its Belfast-based team of staff alongside their colleagues based in both Wales and England.

NAHT Northern Ireland
Carnmoney House
Edgewater Office Park

Belfast
BT3 9JQ

nahtni@naht.org.uk
02890 776633 

NAHT NI comments on Educational Psychology Service Referrals

Dr Graham Gault, Director of school leaders’ union NAHT(NI), said: “We are extremely concerned that schools have been notified that the Educational Psychology Service is unable to provide the same level of support this year as in previous years. This has been attributed to an ‘unpredicted’ increase in referrals.

“Many school leaders do not accept that the uplift in referrals was not foreseen, particularly when concerns about the capacity of the system have been so widely articulated in recent years. Additionally, our members believe that it was entirely predictable that opening the portal to allow parents to make their own referrals, outside of the traditional in-school route, would increase referral rates significantly.

“NAHT suggests, therefore, that the warning that the Educational Psychology Service will not be able to meet demand is not the result of an increase in referrals, but, rather, the legacy of an historic failure to properly invest in this vital service for the scale of the demand.

“We wish to stress that this situation is not the fault of the psychologists, who we hold in high regard, recognising that they are currently managing unprecedented levels of workload. Nor is this the fault of our school principals, teachers, SENCos or any other group of frontline education worker. This is simply the direct result of a failure to invest.”

First published 30 March 2022
 

Recent consultations and other documents

NITC joint letter to management side

The five teacher unions in Northern Ireland, including NAHT(NI), wrote to the employers seeking additional payment to school leaders and teaching staff who worked significant additional hours during summer 2021 in order to ensure this work was recognised.

 

Consultation on deferring school starting age: NAHT(NI) draft response

We are concerned at the advancement of this proposal as the evidential basis for this consultation is highly limited. We contend that the current proposal should be retracted. The proposal fails to reflect the experience of pupils, school leaders, parents and the whole school community. Given the significance of this potential policy change, it is essential that the perspectives of all stakeholders are considered. We know that members are operating in a business-critical environment and will have limited or no time to engage with consultation exercises, however, we encourage members to consider responding to this important consultation and copy our response to complete your individual response.

 

Previous consultation responses and statements

First published 08 April 2020