Thursday, 19 November 2020
Ceisteanna ó Cheannairí - Leaders' Questions
Leo Varadkar (Dublin West, Fine Gael)
I have received what Deputy Smith sent me relating to the forgotten families. I am engaging with the Minister for Education, Deputy Foley, to see if we can find a solution. I believe it is important for children who cannot attend school for health reasons to be provided for in some way, perhaps through an online access system or something like that. I did receive that and I am going to follow up on it with the Minister, Deputy Foley.
A great deal has been put in place to help schools manage the pandemic, not only all the extra funding and staffing but a dedicated telephone line that principals can use as well. It operates even at weekends. There are dedicated school teams in place to assist schools from a public health point of view. As well as that, there is fast-tracking of testing in some cases. I think a lot has been done to make our schools as safe as they possibly can be made during this pandemic. That should be acknowledged.
Deputy Smith makes a valid point on ventilation. We know that in this pandemic outdoors is safer than indoors and a well-ventilated environment is safer than a poorly ventilated environment. That is only common sense. I believe we will have to look at our public buildings and see what we can do to improve ventilation where possible. That might not always be possible, but where possible, we should try to do something.