Sinn Féin spokesperson on Education, Sorca Clarke TD, has said that confirmation from government that 58 school construction projects that had been put on hold will now proceed to tender and construction stage will come as a relief to staff, students and parents.
However, the Longford-Westmeath TD added that urgent clarification must now be provided by Minister for Education Norma Foley as to whether the original timelines for these projects will be adhered to.
Teachta Clarke said:
“I welcome the announcement that the 58 schools that were temporarily paused will now progress to tender and construction stage.
“There was a great deal of upset and anxiety among school principals, teachers, staff, students and parents when they received devastating letters telling them that their school building projects were to be put on hold.
“They should never have been put in that position, so confirmation today that these projects are to recommence will come as a relief.
“However, Minister Foley must now confirm if the original timelines for these works will remain or whether there will be delays to some or all of the schools and, if so, for how long.
“Some of these school works were due to break-ground this week and if there are to be any significant delays, clarity around what they will be, as well as what alternative arrangements will be made available by her department, must be provided.
“School communities cannot be left in limbo, and there can be no more false dawns for students and teachers who deserve facilities that are fit for purpose.”