Today Sinn Féin are publishing a motion to compel the Government to properly fund our education system, so that schools will be able to meet the challenges of reopening fully and safely.
I welcome that the Department for Education has now finally published a roadmap. However, this was long overdue and I am concerned that the Department’s delays leaves teachers and parents just weeks to organise.
We have a huge task ahead of us and this will be made harder without proper investment for schools. We need proper investment, not just short term fixes to see us through the next few weeks or months.
While it is true that no-one could have predicted the scale and manner of the Covid-19 pandemic, we also must acknowledge how failure to invest in our schools has put them in a particularly vulnerable position which meant many were already stretched close to breaking point.
In reopening schools I want the Department to provide resources and instruction to deep-clean and schools at least once a week to ensure that all staff and students are safe but most particularly to provide adequate infection control for students with Cystic Fibrosis.
It has also resulted in schools being understaffed and deprived of basic resources. I am calling on all TDs in this area to back the motion when it comes to the Dáil for a vote on Thursday.