Wednesday, 25 September 2019

Ceisteanna (82, 83)

Thomas P. Broughan

Ceist:

82. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Education and Skills when he will respond to a person (details supplied) regarding the responsibility for student safety of the board of management of a school; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38974/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Thomas P. Broughan

Ceist:

83. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Education and Skills if the board of management of a school (details supplied) is responsible for the safety of students at the vocational skills section of the campus of the school; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38975/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 82 and 83 together.

Under Section 15 of the Education Act 1998, the Board of Management is the body charged with the direct governance of a school.

A Board of Management's main function is to manage the school on behalf of the patron and for the benefit of the students and to provide an appropriate education for each student attending the school.

Schools are required to take all reasonable precautions to ensure the safety of pupils and responsibility for the appropriate supervision of students is therefore a matter for the individual Board of Management.

While my Department does not issue specific guidelines on requirements for supervision in specific situations, it acknowledges that the degree of supervision required of school authorities varies with the individual circumstances.

The Board of Management is responsible for the care and safety of all of the students in the school however and care and safety should therefore be at the centre of all policy and practices.

With regard to the school referred to my the Deputy, a member of my Department's Inspectorate visited the school in June 2019, the purpose of which was to gather information in relation to the operation of the vocational skills programme within school time. My Department subsequently wrote to the Board of Management, requesting that they address a number of issues regarding the Vocational Skills Programme. The Board has responded in writing and my Department is considering this response.

My Department will respond to the parent to whom the Deputy refers when my Department has completed its consideration of this matter.