Clear and practical supports must be at heart of plans for July provision and the reopening of our schools

In order for an orderly and safe reopening of our schools, any decisions must be led by public health advice and include engagement with the INTO. Following our demand for a formal dialogue on this important issue, the Department of Education and Skills established a process to explore the complex and varied issues at stake.

Following our formal engagement in recent weeks, the Department of Education and Skills has now published a framework document which sets out tentative advice for the reopening of our schools.

INTO General Secretary John Boyle said:

We acknowledge the additional advice provided today and will look closely at the framework document over the coming days. It’s important to note that stakeholders, including the INTO, will continue to meet the department as detailed guidance is being developed.

We are demanding clear and practical support for schools to ensure a safe environment for both staff and pupils. Priority must be given to measures which support the safety and physical/mental health and well-being of staff, pupils and parents in primary schools. Our approach at all times is informed by our member-led submission on the challenges primary schools will face.

Alongside our formal engagement with the DES, we will be working closely with key stakeholders in the primary education space to ensure a joined up approach in supporting our members.”