Page last updated at 10:42 GMT, Tuesday, 26 June 2012 11:42 UK

NSMC: Education

Education Minister John O'Dowd reported back to the assembly on a meeting of the North South Ministerial Council (NSMC) on education, on 26 June 2012.

Matters discussed at the meeting included cross-border pupil movement, Irish medium education, school and teacher exchanges, and teacher qualifications.

The minister expressed concern at the lack of progress of talks between the two teachers councils regarding mutual recognition of teacher qualifications.

"I did however express my disappointment that progress in this area was taking longer than I had anticipated," he said.

Michelle McIlveen of the DUP asked about developments at the Middletown Centre for Autism in County Armagh.

The minister said the plan was to increase the services at Middletown from the current 10 children to 40 children per year, increasing to 60 children from Year 2.

In reply to a question about mutual recognition of teacher qualifications and the difficulties experienced by newly-qualified teachers in obtaining jobs, the minister said the North already recognised qualifications from the 26 Counties.

His aim was to ensure recognition of northern qualifications in the South.

Mr O'Dowd said the Dublin government was building 20 new schools, suggesting that there could be opportunities for teachers there.

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