26th June 2020
The Department of Education and Skills (DES) has sent additional public health guidance and staff training to schools and teachers participating in summer provision. INTO welcomes the provision of this additional advice from public health experts, discussed in detail with INTO representatives at a meeting in DES early yesterday morning. It will be welcomed by the many thousands of our members who have opted to teach children with SEN and children from DEIS schools this summer.
Earlier this week DES issued a School COVID-19 Response Plan for summer provision on foot of comprehensive planning and consultation meetings with INTO, IPPN and school managerial authorities.
The latest health advice and updated guidance builds on the work undertaken by INTO and school managerial bodies after many weeks of constructive engagement.
These key stakeholders have committed to continue working together in the coming weeks and throughout the summer to ensure schools receive the support needed for a safe and orderly reopening of primary and special schools in late August.
While we welcome the latest public health advice provided to schools, we are disappointed that the Department of Education and Skills has failed to provide additional clarity for schools currently planning their reopening ahead of the next academic term. Early advice and guidance is crucial to support school management teams and to give clarity to teachers who have been working remotely since March 13. With the school year ending this week it is not acceptable that this guidance is still awaited.
The following guidance was sent to schools yesterday:
INTO has been advised that a helpline and email address has been established for queries related to summer provision.
Helpline number: 0906 484187 (operating between 10am-5pm, Monday to Friday)
Home Based Queries: email@example.com
School Based Queries: firstname.lastname@example.org