Education Minister should be attending Covid Cabinet Committee
19 October 2020
Spokesperson on Education, Enterprise and Trade
- Priority must be to keep schools open and Education should be at the Covid Cabinet Committee.
- Daily engagement needed with Education stakeholders.
With Level 4 plus restrictions due to be announced, Labour Education spokesperson Aodhán Ó Ríordáin has said the membership of the Covid-19 Cabinet Committee should be expanded to include the Education Minister, and daily engagement should be held with school stakeholders to ensure the concerns of teachers and staff are heard.
Deputy Ó Ríordáin said:
“The Cabinet Committee on Covid-19 is meeting today, and it includes all male Ministers, but no representation from the education sphere. A central priority for government is keeping our schools open this winter, and if as expected we move to Level 4 restrictions one of the key reasons must be to secure that goal.
“I think it would be sensible for the Education Minister to be included at those discussions. It shouldn’t be all about just money and business. There must be a consideration of the issues arising in our schools.
“Education unions have raised a number of concerns they want to see addressed to keep schools safe. Daily engagement with school stakeholders through open lines of communication would ensure that issues are quickly considered and resolved.
"Our teachers, SNAs, secretaries, caretakers and other staff are keeping our schools open and need every support possible on an ongoing basis."