Teaching Assistants: Funding

Northern Ireland – in the House of Commons am ar 22 Tachwedd 2023.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Jim Shannon Jim Shannon Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Human Rights), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health)

If he will have discussions with Cabinet colleagues on the potential merits of allocating additional funding for teaching assistants in Northern Ireland.

Photo of Steven Baker Steven Baker The Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office

Pay policy in Northern Ireland is devolved, and it is not for the Government to make those decisions. I am sure the hon. Gentleman would agree that such decisions should be made by the Northern Ireland Executive, with Ministers returned there.

Photo of Jim Shannon Jim Shannon Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Human Rights), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health)

I know that the Minister has a deep interest in the affairs of Northern Ireland, and in the wages of classroom assistants. Only last week, thousands of non-teaching staff went on strike from Northern Ireland schools. The action was called over an escalating row over pay, where thousands of people walked out. Will the Minister commit to investigating that in terms of the Barnett consequentials? Can he ascertain what can be done to support teaching assistants in Northern Ireland?

Photo of Steven Baker Steven Baker The Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for raising this issue. We are actively considering representations made by trade unions. He raises an important point, and I know that he understands that it is a matter for the Executive. I hope that one day, he and I will be able to celebrate some progress on these issues.