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Ulster Teachers Union Conference Supports Buddy Bear Trust

Music_Maker_with_Avril_StantonSloan_Ildi_B.jpgThe 2012 Ulster Teachers Union Conference took place in Newcastle this month and was attended by Miss Illdiko Veres, Principal of Buddy Bear Trust and Mr Brendan McConville, Chairman Buddy Bear Trust.

At the Conference Mrs Gillian Garrett, the outgoing President of the Ulster Teachers Union praised the work of the Buddy Bear Trust over the last 24 years in educating children with cerebral palsy and urged teaching delegates at the Conference in the Sleive Donard Hotel to support the vital work of the school in educating children with cerebral palsy.

President Garrett reminded delegates that UTU had supported the school from the time it was recognised by the Department of Education as an independent school in 1993, President Garrett pointed out that the Buddy Bear Trust School in Dungannon was the only Conductive Education school in N Ireland which had to rely on the generosity of the community to support it and the unpaid volunteers who helped raise funds while promoting the school.

Mrs Garrett made her address in support of the Buddy Bear Trust at the conclusion of the morning session in the presence of Mr John O’Dowd, Minister of Education and the hundred of delegates and visitors from other unions. “We are delighted to have enjoyed the support of the Ulster Teachers Union over the years. It was refreshing to hear the President of one of the largest and most influential Teachers Union praise the work of Miss Ildiko Veres who was trained as a Conductor in the Peto Institute in Budapest and who is a recognised teacher by GTCNI”, said Brendan McConville.

“We know that Education Minister John O’Dowd like almost every MLAs knows about the work of the Buddy Bear Trust but it was reassuring to know that other professional teachers value our work in educating children with cerebral palsy. We appreciate that Education Minister O’Dowd will deal with our request to have the status of the school changed from independent to state funded like local schools in an open and fair manner as he is committed to the principle of Every School A Good School.

It is unfortunate that some officers from Education Board still don’t tell parents about the existence of the school because it is a not a state funded school. We believe that this attitude is an infringement of the children’s human rights and will have to raise the matter with both the Children’s Commissioner and Human Rights Commissioner. We also intend to ask to make a short presentation to Board Members in the hope that some Board officers will realise that they are paid public servants and that the needs of the child should be of paramount importance”, said Brendan McConville.

Brendan McConville, Chairman of the Trust and former Education Officer presented UTU Conference with the Music Maker, one of his many oil paintings which he donates to the Trust to help raise funds for the charity.


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