McGlone: Education Minister is failing pupils, parents and teachers

SDLP MLA for Mid Ulster, Patsy McGlone, has welcomed the news that schools will not return next week and has urged Minister Peter Weir to provide detailed guidance and support for teachers. The Mid Ulster MLA said that it is extremely disappointing that the Minister had to be dragged to this position after the SDLP recalled the Assembly today.

Mr McGlone said, “I welcome the fact that the Education Minister has postponed the return of pupils to schools.

“However rather than taking the immediate, proactive measures needed to support our pupils, parents and teachers, the Minister had to be dragged into action by the SDLP.

“It has been clear for days now that COVID-19 cases are surging in all of our communities but the delay, inaction and lack of leadership from the Minister has caused needless stress and anxiety for pupils, parents and teachers.

“The Education Minister must now produce detailed guidance for schools and provide support to assist our young people with online learning, particularly those in areas of disadvantage.

“It is also essential that the Minister works with teachers and principals to ensure schools are prepared to welcome pupils back to school safely, when the medical evidence suggests it is appropriate to do so.

“While we welcome this announcement, there are a lot of questions yet to be answered. Young people, their parents and their teachers deserve assurances of their safety and the SDLP will not stop until they get them.”