Promotion True True Promotion Religion Religion The Department of Education says schools have a responsibility to ensure that appropriate safeguards are in place while children are participating in school tours.
A department spokesperson was replying to queries in the wake of reports that a top private school in Dublin is conducting an inquiry after two students allegedly engaged in a sex act with prostitutes during an overseas trip.
While it refrained from commenting on the case, the department set out its advice to schools about tours. According to department circulars "the objective of an educational tour should be to provide a significant benefit in the educational, intellectual, cultural and social development of pupils taking part. It is a matter for each individual school to decide on the suitability of any proposed school tour having regard to these requirements."
The circulars provide that tours should be planned, in consultation with parents, well in advance of tour dates.
"Decisions in relation to educational tours are a matter for each individual school authority and it is the responsibility of each school authority to ensure that appropriate safeguards are in place while children are participating in school tours," the statement added.
Details of the alleged incident were contained in an audio WhatsApp message that went viral on social media over the weekend. According to reports, the two students sneaked out of their supervised accommodation and went to a bar. It was claimed they got drunk and were introduced to prostitutes.
One is reported to have admitted the incident to a teacher, who informed colleagues. Disciplinary action is being considered by the school against a teacher who was responsible for the welfare of the teenagers during the trip.
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