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Teachers to have their say on Children First Bill

They will speak to the government’s committee on health and children at its meeting tomorrow.

Image: Eleanor Keegan / Photocall Ireland

TEACHERS ARE TO have their say on the Children First Bill.

The chairperson of the government’s committee on health and children, Jerry Buttimer TD, said today that it will meet with representatives from the Association of Secondary Teachers in Ireland; the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation; the Teachers Union of Ireland; and the Irish Primary Principals Network to discuss the bill.

They will meet tomorrow when the committee continues its hearings on the Children First Bill.

Deputy Buttimer commented:

By the nature of their work, teachers deal with children and young people on a daily basis, so it is important that we get their perspectives on, and contribution to, the drafting of this legislation which will provide the necessary safeguards to protect children and combat child abuse and neglect.

He said that for the Children First legislation to be effective, it was important and necessary for the committee “to engage with and have an open dialogue with those groups who will be working with it on a daily basis”.

The aim of the hearings is to allow members of the committee to be fully informed and enable us to provide meaningful input into the legislation, make observations and suggestions before the bill comes before the Dáil and Seanad.

The Ombudsman for Children, Emily Logan, met with with the committee recently. The meetings are taking place in advance of the drafting of the legislation, which will see the national guidance for the protection and welfare of children given a statutory footing.

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The Bill will place an obligation on those working with or having access to children to report to the HSE incidents of neglect, abuse or allegations of abuse with a view to ensuring an appropriate response.

The meeting can be viewed from 2.30pm on Tuesday, 26 June in Committee Room 1 online here.

Read: Ombudsman to discuss Children First Bill with Oireachtas Health Committee>

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