Sinn Féin education spokesperson criticises time-frame of school returns

Sinn Féin education spokesperson criticises time-frame of school returns
The empty classroom

There are concerns about the tight time-frame for the reopening of primary and secondary education, after the Government unveiled a €375m package, to include over 1000 new teachers and enhanced cleaning.

Criticising the government's plan of action on the matter, Sinn Féin has said that government could have announced its reopening plan for schools much sooner.

There are concerns about the tight time-frame for the reopening of primary and secondary education, after the Government unveiled a €375m package, to include over 1000 new teachers and enhanced cleaning.

The Education Minister, Norma Foley, stated the delay was a matter of care, but responding, Sinn Féin’s Donnacha Ó Laoghaire said they had ample time.

"We always knew there was going to be a need for additional staff, we always knew there was going to be need for additional space, we always knew there was going to be be need for investment in additional hygiene measures," he said.

"A lot of that could have been handed down to schools, and they could have been well under way on the process of recruiting, seeking additional space, or planning adjustments to their building."

More than 1,000 extra primary school teachers, guidance counsellors, an enhanced cleaning regime, and supports to works at schools will be released as part of the plan.

The Government agreed measures to ensure the safe and timely reopening of 4,000 schools for some 1m pupils.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said that the most effective way to limit the spread of the virus in schools is to contain it in the community.

Mr Martin went on to say this is “the most comprehensive” reopening plan for any sector so far.

More in this section

Lunchtime News Wrap

A lunchtime summary of content highlights on the Irish Examiner website. Delivered at 1pm each day.

Sign up