Written answers

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Department of Education and Skills

English Language Training Organisations

Photo of James BrowneJames Browne (Wexford, Fianna Fail)
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239. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the position regarding English language schools and their plans to reopen in line with public health guidance; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6202/20]

Photo of Brendan HowlinBrendan Howlin (Wexford, Labour)
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246. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if consideration has been given to the scheduled reopening of language schools; his views in this regard; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6223/20]

Photo of Joe McHughJoe McHugh (Donegal, Fine Gael)
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I propose to take Questions Nos. 239 and 246 together.

The timeline and arrangements for the re-opening of English language education providers will be guided by public health advice applicable at a given time. On May 1st, the Taoiseach announced the roadmap for the gradual lifting of the current Covid-19 restrictions. This roadmap sets out a number of phases with the re-opening of the wider education system contained in the later phases to coincide broadly with the beginning of the new academic year.

My Department will engage with relevant stakeholders within the English language education sector regarding their development of plans for re-opening. It is anticipated that these plans will be informed by the "Return to Work Safely Protocol" recently published jointly by the Department of Health and the Department of Enterprise, Business & Innovation, and designed to support measures being put in place that will prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace.Experience of the re-opening of educational facilities in other jurisdictions will also be relevant.ance and experience from other jurisdictions.

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