September 16, 2021
Education Minister must appear before committee over contact tracing failures – Sheehan

Sinn Féin MLA Pat Sheehan has requested an urgent recall of the Education Committee over failings in the contact tracing system in our schools.

The party’s education spokesperson said:

“Our main teaching trade unions have come together to express their very serious concern in relation to the Public Health Agency’s current school contact tracing system.

“I have contacted the chair to request an urgent recall of the Education Committee to bring in the DUP Education Minister, the Public Health Agency and trade union representatives to find a solution.

“Public health experts are best placed to deliver this service to allow our principals to get on with the huge task of running our schools.

“However, despite assurances that the PHA had the necessary capacity and resources to deliver on this responsibility, it appears this is not the case, and our principals are under increasing pressure. 

“In light of these serious concerns, Michelle McIlveen needs to explain clearly what steps she will take to ensure the PHA are properly resourced to carry out this work.

“I share the main teaching unions’ concerns about the PHA’s definition of a close contact and the consequences this has for the safety of our young people, teachers and families. 

“School staff, pupils and parents need to be confident that schools will be a safe place to work and learn. That’s the message we will be giving to the DUP Education Minister.”

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