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26 Jan 2022

Key mitigation measures needed to ensure schools remain open safely - Browne

"I have repeatedly said that for the return to school to be safe and prolonged"

Key mitigation measures needed to ensure schools remain open safely - Browne

very effort must be made to ensure schools do not only reopen this week but remain open safely - Martin Browne TD

Tipperary Sinn Féin TD Martin Browne has demanded that every effort be made to ensure that all possible is done to ensure schools do not only reopen this week but remain open safely.

Teachta Browne said: “Sinn Fein wants to see children at school, but more must be done by the government than simply telling principals that the doors will be open on Thursday.

“They must make sure all schools are provided with every mitigation measure to prevent the spread of Covid that they need, and that principals are supported properly in dealing with the challenges they will face.

“I have repeatedly said that for the return to school to be safe and prolonged, the equipment that schools need to mitigate against Covid as effectively as possible should be provided.

“We need to see HSE-led contact tracing and effective HEPA filtration that meets the needs of every school that require them, without those burdens being the responsibility of our principals who also have to deal with the increasingly difficult task of finding substitute teachers and meeting the many unexpected demands they are facing and will continue to face for some time.

“I have been contacted locally about issues with the HEPA funding. This should not be the worry of Tipperary principals. Neither should contact tracing.

“The Christmas period should have been used to ensure that these supports for principals were devised alongside the provision of these mitigation measures.

“Sinn Féin Education spokesperson Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire wrote to the Education Minister before Christmas urging her to prioritise putting in place these mitigation measures over the break.

“Instead of doing this, valuable time has been wasted. The government must immediately stop dragging its feet.

“Our children’s education has been disrupted enough already because of Covid-19. Every effort must be made to ensure schools do not only reopen this week but remain open safely.

“That means adequate investment in schools to ensure they have enough budget for these measures, heating and other vital resources.”

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