Written answers

Tuesday, 28 July 2020

Department of Education and Skills

Covid-19 Pandemic

Photo of Gerald NashGerald Nash (Louth, Labour)
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519. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if PPE will be provided to staff across the higher education institutions; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [18817/20]

Norma Foley (Kerry, Fianna Fail)
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On 22 July I published a three-pillar series of guides for returning to on-site learning in 2020/2021 which consisted of

- A high level Further and Higher Education Roadmap, which provides an overview of the phased return across further and higher education;

- A Covid-19 Adaptation framework which provides a structure, guidance and support for further and higher education institutions and providers and;

- Practical Guidance for Further and Higher Education for Returning to On-site Activity.

These documents can all be found online at the following link: .

However the Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) are governed by the Universities Act 1997, the Institutes of Technologies Acts 1992 to 2006 and the Technological Universities Act 2018. Within the meaning of these acts they are entitled to regulate their own academic affairs and administrative processes. Decisions on how courses and campus services will operate, including whether the wearing of PPE will be required in certain circumstances, will be made by each institution, in line with public health advice, and arrangements will vary between institutions and between courses.

Where HEIs need to acquire PPE, the Department of Education is working to put in place a framework of suppliers to provide the necessary PPE for Education Sector bodies and institutions. This is an active procurement which is intended will provide for the PPE necessary to support the reopening and will be capable of being scaled up and down as required to meet changes in demand.

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