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Volume 175: debated on Tuesday 26 June 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what provision is made under local management of schools for cover teachers in the case of illness; what representations he has received concerning the relationship between this provision and the present practice of employing a substitute teacher on the third day of absence; and if he will make a statement.

Under local management of schools the cost of substitute cover after the 20th day of a teacher's absence because of illness will not be a charge on a school's budget but will be met centrally. The cost of illness cover before this will fall to be met from the school's budget. Where substitute cover would not apply under the normal arrangements and the board of governors of a school has delegated responsibility for managing teacher costs, it is, of course, open to the school to use some of its budget to fund such cover.I have received one representation on this matter and have no plans to change the arrangements.