Cork TD urges Government to engage with unions to restructure plans for Leaving Certificate students

Cork TD urges Government to engage with unions to restructure plans for Leaving Certificate students

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Education Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire has said that the Minister for Education must “go back to the drawing board” Mr Ó Laoghaire said:"The government's plan to reopen schools for Leaving Cert students next week is in tatters.

A Cork TD is asking the Minister for Education to reconsider the plans for Leaving Certificate students for the crucial weeks and months ahead.

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Education Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire has said that the Minister for Education must “go back to the drawing board” Mr Ó Laoghaire said:"The government's plan to reopen schools for Leaving Cert students next week is in tatters.

"There should have always been a Plan B if schools had to close, but the government thought differently. Instead, we had a plan cobbled together yesterday, which has now collapsed before its eyes.

"The Minister for Education now needs to take the next week to consult properly and to work out a better plan for the tuition of Leaving Cert students.” The Cork TD highlighted that special schools would also remain closed in the latest Government announcement.

"I note too that special schools and units will not now open either. Teachers and other school staff have very reasonable concerns about Covid-19 and their unions weren't consulted. The government tried to bounce them and it hasn't been demonstrated that their school environment - their workplace - can be made safe.” Mr O’Laoghaire said he was very conscious of the impact of the lockdown on children with special educational needs and their families.

"The regression was huge, they lost out on so much and their families were put under severe pressure. They were among the greatest victims of the last lowdown. I know that children with special educational needs and their parents are likely to be very disappointed at the government's failure to plan properly here.

"For me, they should be educational priority number one and they should be the first back in when it is safe to do so.

"I would hope that children with special educational needs can get some form of in-class learning as soon as possible but clearly it needs to be in a manner that is safe, and has the support of workers, as well as families.” The Cork TD called on “intensive negotiations” between unions and the Department of Education.

"This needs to be truly collaborative, involving unions, parents, students, management bodies and opposition. The government cannot try to bounce people again."

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