May 5, 2021
Where is the guidance on Summer Provision? – Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson for Education Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD has urged the Department of Education to provide clarity to schools, and families of children with special educational needs, by urgently releasing the guidance for this year’s Summer Provision Programme.

Teachta Ó Laoghaire said:

“Schools have been left in the lurch by the Department of Education. They are still waiting essential guidance and information on how Summer Provision will work this year, less than eight weeks before many of these programmes are set to begin.

“In a normal year, the guidance would already have been released to schools. Given the additional Covid-related considerations schools will have to make this year, you would have expected the Minister to make sure schools were given this guidance earlier than usual, not later.

“This delay points to a continuing lack of respect for schools and teachers, who will now be expected to put together a comprehensive summer programme in the space of just a few weeks when the guidance is eventually released. It is not good enough.

“The Department need to provide immediate clarity on key areas, they need to confirm that the greater number of children eligible to participate last year will continue this year, and they need to confirm that SNAs can continue to facilitate this programme.

“Disincentives for teachers and SNAs participating must also be removed, including delays in pay and PUP obstacles.

“The Minister needs to urgently bring forward the guidelines, so that the number of spaces available can be maximised and the largest possible number of children can avail of the programme this summer.”

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