Former Howard PS teacher in top role

A former teacher at a Dungannon Primary School has been appointed Vice President of Northern Ireland's largest locally-based teaching union.

Thursday, 22nd March 2018, 2:40 pm
Updated Thursday, 22nd March 2018, 2:45 pm
Kevin Cooper © Photoline: Susan Thompson in-coming Vice-President, with David Thompson, outgoing UTU President at Ulster Teachers Union Annual Conference 2018 took place at Slieve Donard Hotel in Newcastle on Friday 16th March 2018. Delegates and guests from around Northern Ireland gathered for the annual Ulster Teachers Union Conference 2018 at Slieve Donard Hotel in Newcastle. first session shared by Barry Mulholland, Chief Executive, CSSC, with speakers included: David Thompson, UTU President, Louise Regan, President, NEU, and Avril Hall-Callaghan, UTU General Secretary. Delegates discussed a wide range of subjects from: teachers pay, workload, well-being and mental health, abuse of social media, school budgets, professional development, maternity and paternity benefits, curriculum and area-based planning.

Susan Thompson, who is now vice principal of Hart Memorial Primary School in Portadown, received the chain of office at the recent annual conference of the 7,000-strong Ulster Teachers’ Union in Newcastle, Co Down.

Accepting the honour Mrs Thompson said the teaching profession faced many challenges in the months ahead.

“Among the main issues facing teachers is the ever increasing workload, worries over growing class sizes and the mental health of our students who face pressures from so many sides,” she said.

“Ironically these are the same issues which faced us last year too though because of the inertia in Stormont very little has moved forward which is always frustrating.

“Hopefully though when the Assembly is functioning properly again we can work together to make steady steps towards improving the situation both for teachers and students.”

Mrs Thompson will spend the year as Vice President before taking up the post of President next year, a post held by her husband, the outgoing UTU President, David Thompson, head of Dungannon Primary.

The couple met while both were teaching a Howard PS, Dungannon. They have one daughter, Nicole (10).