January 16, 2021
Minister for Education needs to engage and resolve outstanding issues essential to reopening special education – Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Education Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD has said that the Minister for Education needs to urgently engage with workers’ representatives to ensure the reopening of special education. 

Teachta Ó Laoghaire

“Reports today that there remain issues outstanding that could prevent a return to special education next week are of serious concern.

“This flies in the face of an announcement from the Minster for Education yesterday that this had been agreed. 

“The chaos that ensued two weeks ago happened because the government tried to bounce stakeholders, trying to decide policy by press release rather than engage in proper dialogue.

“I am concerned that the same mistakes are being made again and that press releases are substituting discussion and agreement.

“This is a very worrying and careless approach.

“Everyone agrees on the need to see special education return as soon as possible and in a manner that is safe. Sinn Féin supports that objective and indeed have made it clear that it was our first priority.

“But the real concerns of staff need to heard and allayed, and agreement needs to be found

“There remain outstanding issues, but the Minister is taking stakeholders for granted.

“In my view, these issues can be resolved. That is entirely achievable and this can be done. The Minister needs to step up and take nothing for granted.”

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