Wednesday, 20 May 2020
Department of Education and Skills
324. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if an audit of all school buildings will be carried out with a view to ascertaining the works needed to be completed to allow the safe return of students and staff; if special additional funding will be made available to schools to facilitate, among other actions, the hiring of cleaning staff to work throughout the school day, the installation of hand washing and sanitising stations, the erection of appropriate signage and the rearrangement of school layout and the acquisition of temporary additional accommodation and or the building of additional classrooms as appropriate; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6585/20]
On the 1stMay 2020, the Taoiseach announced as part of the "Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business" that schools will commence opening on a phased basis at the beginning of the 2020/2021 academic year. The Department is currently working with the Education Partners and relevant stakeholders in planning for this re-opening which will be based on public health advice. As part of this engagement, each of the education partners were given the opportunity to outline the key issues that they would like to have considered in the context of re-opening schools. The issues raised by the education partners included many of those referred to by the Deputy in his question. These will now be worked through in detail as part of the development of the roadmap for reopening schools.
A core objective will be to ensure that schools and other education settings can re-open and operate in a safe manner that is consistent with public health advice.