1 MFómh 2020, 16.46

The Oireachtas Special Committee on Covid-19 Response will examine the re-opening of schools, school transport and the marking of State exams when it meets tomorrow, Wednesday, 2 September in Leinster House.

TDs will hear from Minister for Education and Skills Norma Foley TD and representatives of parent and teacher groups and special needs assistants (SNAs). The Committee which is sitting in the Seanad Chamber is holding three sessions throughout the day with witnesses appearing via video link from Committee Room 2.

  • Officials from the Association of Secondary Teachers, Ireland (ASTI), Fórsa Trade Union, Teachers Union of Ireland (TUI), Irish National Teachers Organisation (INTO) will appear before the Committee at 10am.
  • Representatives from the National Parents Council Primary, National Parents Council Post Primary and representatives from Inclusion Ireland will appear before the Committee at 12.30pm.
  • Minister for Education and Skills will appear before the Committee at 3pm.

Speaking before the meeting Committee Chairman Michael McNamara TD said: “Hundreds and thousands of children and teenagers returned to school over recent days for the first time since in six months.

“The Committee will review the preparations needed for the safe re-opening of schools with representatives of staff and parents and how re-opened schools are operating on the ground. This will include looking at the capacity of existing school buildings to facilitate social distancing, school transport provision, and response plans in place for potential outbreaks in schools or plans in place when a child is being tested or tests positive for Covid-19.

“The Committee will be exploring the effectiveness of the Department’s Roadmap for the Re-Opening of Schools and asking the Minister for Education and Skills to respond to the issues raised. Also, as students await the results of Leaving Certificate 2020, meeting with the Minister provides an ideal opportunity for Members to examine the marking scheme used and the way it has been applied to ensure fair and equal opportunity to all students.”

Watch the Committee live.

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Committee membership

Teachtaí

Fine Gael

Fine Gael

Sinn Féin

Independent

Fianna Fáil

Sinn Féin

Green Party

Fianna Fáil

Michael McNamara - Cathaoirleach

Independent

Fine Gael

Independent

Social Democrats

Solidarity - People Before Profit

Labour Party