Deputy Jeremy Maçon has said that Education Department representatives have been in regular contact with schools to work ‘closely on issues that have arisen’.
Union officials have spoken out against the conditions in schools with Covid-19 advice suggesting that indoor areas should be well ventilated.
Senator Tracey Vallois quit as Education Minister earlier this month after disagreeing with ministerial colleagues about the reopening of schools.
Deputy Maçon, who has said he would be interested in taken on the position on a full-time basis, has said that there had been 137 meetings between government and union officials since the start of the pandemic – 35 of which have been led by the Education Department.
He said: ‘Throughout this week senior officials in the education service have been in regular dialogue with schools and trades unions representatives to address questions raised about heating and ventilation arrangements.
‘Twenty schools and colleges have indicated that they have had no concerns with regards to their heating and ventilation, whilst nine schools are working closely with officials on issues that have arisen.’
He added that government will continue to liaise with unions to ensure a ‘collaborative, joint approach in the development of risk management frameworks, guidance and overall approach’ during the pandemic.
‘I am committed to this partnership approach and I am pleased that trades union representatives have had around-the-clock, direct access to senior officers so that any issues/staff concerns can be actioned and managed directly,’ he added.