Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Questions (42)

Derek Keating


42. Deputy Derek Keating asked the Minister for Education and Skills the arrangements for supervision of students during school organised Gaeltacht residential trips and classes; if his attention has been drawn to a reported major breakdown in supervision following an organised school trip to Donegal with 38 students from a school (details supplied); if he has been notified that the school principal has removed himself from the board of management investigation because of a reported conflict of interest; the responsibility his Department has in such issues; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32017/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

I am aware of the media reports in relation to the matter raised by the Deputy. The issues raised by the Deputy are matters to be dealt with at local school level rather than centrally by my Department. The general position from my Department's perspective is that an educational tour should provide a significant benefit in the educational, intellectual, cultural and social development of pupils taking part. It is a matter for each individual school to decide on the suitability of any proposed school tour having regard to these requirements. The Board must exercise all reasonable care in respect of the pupils involved and take all necessary steps to ensure that sufficient supervision is in place and that all appropriate and necessary safeguards in respect of the welfare and safety of participating pupils are in place.