Ministers’ visit makes it ‘Labour Day’ in Kilkenny

Sam Matthews

Reporter:

Sam Matthews

30/01/2014: Minister for Education, Ruairi Quinn pictured with Martin O'Halloran, CEO, Health and Safety Authority, Tanya Hudson, teacher, Gaelscoil Osrai, Kilkenny and Paul Fields, Director, Kilkenny Education Centre pictured launching the Guidelines on Managing Safety Health and Welfare in Primary School. Photo: Pat Moore.
Yesterday turned into a ‘Labour Day’ of sorts in Kilkenny, with the separate visits of two Labour Party ministers.

Yesterday turned into a ‘Labour Day’ of sorts in Kilkenny, with the separate visits of two Labour Party ministers.

While Minister of State for Transport Alex Kelly opened the city’s new pedestrian bridge in the morning, Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn visited a local school, as well as the Kilkenny Education Centre.

He visited Duiske College in Graignamanagh, where he was treated to a tour of the school by local TD Ann Phelan, a past pupil. He then visited the Kilkenny Education Centre on the Callan Road, where he met staff and students from a number of local schools.

The minister was launching guidelines on Managing Safety, Health and Welfare in Primary Schools in Kilkenny Education Centre. The document outlines safety provisions for students and those working in the primary education sector.

Kilkenny Education Centre, and the Health and Safety Authority together with the Department of Education and Skills developed the guidelines in response to a strong demand from primary schools for guidance and clarification to enable them to better manage the existing legal obligations and responsibilities. The guidelines are intended as a single comprehensive guidance document and toolkit that reflects current legislative requirements and best practice.

Copies of the Guidelines will be issued to all primary schools together with a CD version of the Guidelines for ease of use and training on implementing the Guidelines will be available to schools through their local Education Centre.

Director of KEC Paul Fields welcomed the minister, and praised the initiative. He said it had been delivered, including printing, distribution and training, for less than 50e per school.

Local students then exchanged their books produced under the Scriobh Leabhar progamme. The minister was also presented with a set of sterling silver cufflinks.

Minister Quinn thanked Mr Fields and Martin O’ Halloran of the Health and Safety Authority.

“I’m delighted to see the Guidelines for primary schools being launched,” said the minister.

“It’s a very practical resource on health and safety for schools and clearly lays out what has to be done to meet legal requirements and how to do it. The Department of Education and Skills welcomes the publication of this aid for school management and staff in their approach to managing safety and health.”