27 Jun 2022

Education Department mica response failure

Pringle critical of Department's delay in school mica related questions

Pringle critical of Department's  delay in school mica related questions

Pringle critical of Department's delay in school mica related questions

The Department of Education has been accused of failing to respond to questions regarding services and resources for children affected by 'mica'.

Deputy Thomas Pringle said families living in temporary accommodation because of the mica crisis can contact the Department of Education if they are having difficulties securing school transport, according to a response he received recently from the minister, Norma Foley. 

Mr Pringle said: “I raised this issue in the Dáil in March, and just recently received word from the Minister for Education that officials in the Department are available to assist families with queries on particular cases.

“The Minister said queries around school transport can be addressed in an email to school_transport@education.,” he added.

In her response, Minister Foley also said cases referred to by Deputy Pringle would be considered on a case-by-case basis, to assess transport options that can be offered to affected families, and that department officials will work with Bus Éireann in considering responses.

Deputy Pringle said he had raised these issues in the Dáil with the Taoiseach at the end of March, during questions on promised legislation.

He added: “This recent response, two months later, is equally unacceptable.

“I will continue to monitor this situation to make sure families affected by mica are receiving the supports and services they deserve, while Government continues to drag its heels on finding a long-term solution to the crisis.”

In her recent response to Deputy Pringle, Minister Foley said that while it is not feasible to increase the National Educational Psychology Service allocation to the schools concerned, there are a range of supports available. The Minister said the schools should link with their assigned NEPS psychologist or the ETB educational psychologist in the region.

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