Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Tuesday, 21 September 2021

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Education and Skills

Reopening of Schools, Cork Life Centre, School Bullying and the Impact on Mental Health: Discussion.

Photo of Marc Ó CathasaighMarc Ó Cathasaigh (Waterford, Green Party)
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I thank the Minister and the Minister of State for their presentations. There is a huge amount of ground to cover and I may be slightly scattergun in my approach.

In the first instance, I disagree with Deputy Ó Laoghaire's characterisation of the return to school being chaotic. In my town of Tramore, the staff within schools, the entire school community and the children have been fantastic about getting themselves back to school and it has been very welcome. From the off, I would demur from that point of view.

I wanted to ask the Minister of State a question about summer provision. There is a great deal of frustration among many who have been working to provide summer provision about the length of time it takes to get paid. It was a factor that put many people off participating. I welcome the participation from the children's point of view, but could the Minister of State comment on whether it was difficult to recruit staff into it and if there are any plans to speed up the process whereby people are paid for participation in those summer provision programmes?