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UPE Articles

Directives: Mass deployment of Nurture Teachers

The Union of Professional Educators (UPE) is taking a proactive stance to address a critical issue related to the deployment of Nurture Teachers under the National School Support Services (NSSS). In an effort to raise awareness and resolve this matter, the UPE has registered a trade dispute on the 10th of August 2023 and intended to initiate discussions regarding this concern, unfortunatly the Ministry opted to ignore calls for discussion.

According to received information, a significant number of UPE members working as Nurture Teachers have been informed by the Ministry that they will be assigned to different schools, unlike previous years when these teachers were based in one school.

Recent data for the academic year 2022/2023 indicates a growing demand for the services provided by Nurture Teachers. Teachers expressing their concerns to the union have reported an already heavy workload, which is further aggravated by their responsibilities related to the whole school approach.

After conducting initial investigations, the UPE has noted a noticeable increase in the number of students requiring Nurture classes. Despite the overall rise in the student population, largely influenced by the influx of migrants in Malta, this upward trend remains apparent. Today’s fast-paced lives and various developments in family units can have negative effects on children’s behavior. If addressed at an early stage, children can be aided in handling the emotional roller coaster on which they sometimes, innocently, find themselves.

For this reason, Nurture Groups have been introduced in a number of primary schools in Malta to cater to young pupils with social, emotional, and behavioral difficulties.

Given these circumstances, the UPE strongly opposes the widespread deployment of Nurture Teachers across multiple schools.

Consequently, the UPE kindly requested the Ministry to engage in productive discussions with the union, focusing on the concerns and issues affecting its members. It was suggested that a meeting be scheduled prior to the 18th of August 2023, providing ample time for the Ministry to initiate dialogue and collaborate with the UPE to reach a mutually agreeable resolution.

However, it is essential to emphasise that it was made clear that if the Ministry fails to engage in meaningful discussions within the specified timeframe, the Union retains the right to issue directives subsequent to the mentioned date.

Therefore, the UPE is issuing the following directive to its members:

Nurture Teachers who are members of the UPE are instructed to disregard the deployment notice issued by the Ministry of Education and to remain in the school where they worked during the 2022/2023 academic year until further instructions are provided.

Union members are advised to contact the union if they require further information by calling 2122 1252 or emailing us at info@upe.mt.

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