Assurances sought from DES as school safety brought into question

This week the Department of Education and Skills announced the closure of Tyrrelstown Educate Together and St. Luke’s NS, Tyrrelstown with immediate effect as a “precautionary measure” following structural assessments. Furthermore, the department announced an urgent structural review into 40 other schools. INTO has written to the department seeking urgent assurances on behalf of our members.

On behalf of our members who are working in the affected schools, and the pupils attending them, we are extremely concerned at these developments – particularly coming so soon after the identification of fire safety issues in a number of recently built schools. We are also
concerned at the Minister’s very recent comments in the Dáil regarding the schools having been “built too quickly”.

All teachers, and ancillary staff, are entitled to a place of a work which is safe. We called on the department to urgently provide an assurance in relation to the safety of our members at work.

The Department of Education and Skills confirmed they are adopting a pro-active and precautionary approach to the issue. The department furthermore agreed to ensure INTO was kept abreast of developments and convened a briefing session with key stakeholders to take place shortly.