The schools to which the Deputy refers are included in my Department’s School Remediation Programme. Schools, Patrons and Education Partners are issued with regular updates on the progression of this on-going programme. Apart from keeping the school authorities involved directly informed, the purpose of these communications is to assist them with updating parents and staff. My Department has also made a dedicated e-mail address available for schools to raise any specific queries they might have and a dedicated team is available to discuss any issues arising for the schools.
The schools in question are among 17 schools informed earlier this year that detailed structural investigations would be carried out in them when they closed for the summer holidays. This approach was designed to prevent disruption to the schools. Direct contact was made with the schools to make the necessary arrangements for these detailed investigations. Subsequent on the ground communication took place with the school authorities when necessary works were subsequently implemented and written confirmation was given to them that the buildings are safe to occupy.
This level of communication and support will continue with the schools to address any concerns they might have and until permanent remediation works are carried out on the buildings.