Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Thursday, 19 November 2020
Joint Oireachtas Committee on Education and Skills
Engagement with Trade Unions on Keeping Schools Open: Discussion
Mr. John Boyle:
On that engagement, I think we all regret what happened in August. We got so worked up throughout May, June and July and when the roadmap was published and the resource package came with it, some people in higher places took holidays. We certainly did not in the teacher unions. For a number of weeks in August, the engagement was not great and I think that is what caused the crisis that arose in October. We identified many of the things now in place as early as May. We will have to learn from that.
We are now not having weekly meetings, as Mr. Christie said, with the Department officials in their own right. We are generally meeting them with the representatives of NPHET but we are getting back on track with that too. We had one on Tuesday and we are due to have another one directly with Department officials in two weeks' time. That will be sufficient so long as the homework is done in between. We are up for helping them with the homework but we need to get the commitments from the Department that it will see it through.