News & Media

Teachers' input vital in Department guidance

3 April 2020

Statement by Aodhán Ó Ríordáin TD
Spokesperson on Education and Skills, Gaeilge and the Gaeltacht

Labour spokesperson on Education, Aodhán Ó Ríordáin TD, has said the voices of school teachers and principals should be heard in the issuing of any formal guidance by the Department of Education and Skills during the Covid 19 shutdown.

It comes as the INTO expressed concern that it was not consulted on the ‘Guidance on Continuity of Schooling for Primary and Post-Primary Schools’, published online last night.

Deputy Ó Ríordáin said:

“This is a very unsettling time for students, parents, teachers and principals alike, and there has been a coming together of those involved in the education sector since this crisis began.

“However I am disappointed to hear from the INTO that it was not consulted or had any input into the formal guidance issued by the Department for teachers and schools on the ‘Continuity of Schooling’ during this crisis.

“Teachers and principals are at the coalface of education in this country and have a unique insight into the needs of their students, as well as a deep understanding of the curriculum and its challenges.

“It only makes sense that they would have an important contribution to make on any such document or guidance from the Department.

“I’ve been calling on the Minister to bring together representatives of parents and students, along with the education unions and opposition spokespeople, to hammer out these details during this very uncertain time.

“This type of collaborative approach has worked quite well in other departments and for the sake of every student, teacher and parent, a similar approach is needed in education.”