THE Stormont Assembly is set to be recalled to discuss next week's planned reopening of schools amid concerns over increasing coronavirus case numbers.
SDLP education spokesperson, Daniel McCrossan, has welcomed the fact the SDLP recall petition has achieved 30 signatures and the NI Assembly will be recalled tomorrow (Thursday).
The West Tyrone MLA commented: “I welcome the support of Assembly colleagues for a recall petition and tomorrow, SDLP MLAs will be robustly challenging Minister Weir on his failure to act to provide vital safety assurances, ahead of schools reopening next week.
“With a huge rise in COVID-19 levels across our community, the fact that schools across the North are due to return in just days is deeply concerning.
“Pupils, parents and teachers are extremely anxious and there has been a lack of clarity and support to reassure them and assist.
"For weeks now, the SDLP has urged the Minister to provide this support to our school leaders and he has failed to do so.”
Mr McCrossan added: “It is now essential that the Minister for Education outlines the medical and scientific evidence he has used to dogmatically rule out an extended school holiday.
“It is unfortunate that the Minister for Education needs to be dragged before the Assembly, instead of taking proactive action. The SDLP will ensure that pupils, parents and teachers have the answers and assurances they need.
“People have the right to know if it is safe for pupils and teachers to return to school next week and the SDLP will ensure that the Minister for Education can no longer ignore taking action."