Sinn Féin MLA Nicola Brogan has said the Minister of Education needs to provide clarity and appropriate intervention to support our schools.
The party’s spokesperson for children and young people was speaking after serious issues were raised by teachers’ representatives at an unscheduled meeting of the Education Committee today.
Nicola Brogan said:
“An anomaly around children attending school after receiving a positive flow test while they wait for confirmation by a laboratory test requires urgent clarification by the Minister of Education.
“Reports that pregnant members of staff have not been given the option of working from home are also worrying.
“Questions were also raised about the efficacy of treating 18, and in some cases 19-year-old, pupils attending secondary schools in the same way as younger children when they are subject to a different risk assessment,” said Sinn Fein’s spokesperson for Children and Young People.
“Covid-19 is an airborne virus and the new variant highly transmissible. Advice to ‘open windows’ is inadequate to the task of keeping pupils, their teachers and staff or indeed vulnerable people within children’s households safe.
“School Principals struggled to administer contact tracing last term but as cases rise within the community, without additional administrative support by the Department, the additional workload could be overwhelming.
“Clearly urgent intervention by the Minister of Education is required to provide clarity and appropriate intervention to support our schools.”