Sinn Féin spokesperson on Education, Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD, has described as disappointing the fact that the Department has waited so long to issue advice on safely conducting Christmas activities in schools.
Teachta Ó Laoghaire said:
“The fact that the Department is giving this advice out now, is disappointing and it is very late in the day. Most schools have put their plans together a long time ago.
“I think it is deeply disappointing as well that schools are finding out in the media first.
“Just as happened over the summer, schools had to step in to the breach, to fill in the gaps in the absence of advice, and came up with plans based on their own common sense and understanding of public health advice.
“Many have their Christmas plans, which are in my experience very conscientious in terms of public health, organised for several weeks now. And while much of the advice out today is very similar to what schools are doing, where there are conflicts, schools are being forced to change their plans now at the last minute, potentially to the disappointment of children and school communities.
“That could have been avoided with earlier guidance. With little over a week left in schools, this is very late.
“The Department must ensure that it is showing better leadership in advising schools on how to conduct their activities in a safe way.”