Temporary assignment – updated guidance

The Department of Education and Skills has this morning published a circular letter to all schools and ETBs – (0027/2020) COVID-19 Temporary assignment arrangements for certain staff in the education and training sector.

The circular letter reiterates the importance of the continuity of primary education. The letter states:

The clear priority in the education and training sector is to ensure continuity of education for learners and this is being progressed across the sector using new and innovative ways of working.

The role of school management in identifying and linking with staff available for temporary assignment is outlined. However, INTO does not expect that teachers who are providing education services will be called upon to be temporarily assigned.

The circular letter provides additional guidance on the temporary assignment of certain education staff to different areas of work. This is to ensure the continuation of essential public services and is one of the many responses of Government and the health authorities to the unprecedented challenges posed by the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Primary school principals and teachers are providing an ongoing and important educational service to their pupils throughout the current health crisis, with schools across the country closed until the 19th of April. While we appreciate some of our members will wish to support the public effort, during this period, their first duty will remain to their student body. Education is an essential service for our students.

Throughout the course of the last number of weeks, in numerous interactions with the Department of Education and Skills, they have made it clear that the primary objective of teachers should be the facilitation of their pupils learning.

The circular is available here.