Wednesday, 6 November 2019
Education (Student and Parent Charter) Bill 2019: Committee Stage
Joe McHugh (Donegal, Fine Gael)
I appreciate where the Senator wants to go with the amendment and we are singing from the same hymn sheet in seeking to ensure we will have a minimum period within which to ensure a review will be carried out. Five years is potentially too long. We can look at ensuring one will be carried out earlier, but I am not in a position to be specific in that regard. While not accepting the amendment in its current form, we will proceed to Report Stage when I would be happy to bring forward an amendment to be more specific on the minimum review period and whether it should be five years or less. I, therefore, ask the Senator for a little space and time to consider the issue. I reassure him, however, that I am on the same page in seeking to ensure we will be more specific. The public is very wary of the word "discretion" when it comes to politicians giving their prognosis in dealing with certain issues. Discretion does not mean anything in the eyes of the public when it comes to ensuring there will be a minimum period in which to carry out a review. I, therefore, ask the Senator to consider withdrawing the amendment. I will come back on Report Stage with a more specific minimum review period.