23 Sep 2019, 15.33

The Minister for Education and Skills will discuss reduced timetables at a meeting of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Education and Skills tomorrow, Tuesday, 24 September at Leinster House, Committee Room 4 from 3.30pm.

Minister for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh T.D. is before the Committee to discuss the Committee’s recently published Interim Report on Reduced Timetables. The report called for guidelines from the Education Department on the use of reduced timetables in schools.

Committee chairperson, Fiona O’Loughlin TD said: “This Committee shone a light on a very worrying practice, which was hidden in plain sight for a long period of time.  While members of the Committee welcome the Minister’s announcement yesterday, that schools will now be required to give formal notification of the use of reduced timetables to Tusla, we will be seeking further information on this announcement and proposed guidelines for notifications. The Committee realises that in some instances, a reduced timetable  can be considered better than expulsion or suspension. However,  the absence of guidelines and monitoring of this practice is of concern to our members.”

Separately, further education and training body, SOLAS Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Brownlee will discuss WorldSkills 2019. Members of the winning, Irish WorldSkills team will appear before the Committee’s TDs and Senators to discuss their recent success.

Deputy O’Loughlin said the Committee is delighted to welcome  members of the Irish Team who competed in the WorldSkills competition in Kazan. Russia. 

“Their success shines a bright light on how the Irish competitors are winning on the world stage in disciplines as varied as welding to cooking.  These achievements showcase the impressive career opportunities which can result by opting for an education route by way of an apprenticeship or traineeship which are clearly producing leaders in excellence on the global stage,” Deputy O’Loughlin said.

Ireland’s WorldSkills team won four gold medals and one bronze at the event in cloud computing, freight forwarding and building information modelling at the WorldSkills competition in Russia, last month.

Seven medallions for excellence were also awarded to Irish competitors in welding, aircraft maintenance, cookery, plumbing and heating, construction metal work, restaurant service and cabinet making.

Committee proceedings can be viewed live here.


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