4th August 2020
The Department of Education is in the process of transferring additional funding to primary and special schools to assist with planning and preparation for a safe and orderly reopening later this month.
Schools will receive two separate minor works grants resulting in the doubling of the amount expected for the 2020-21 school year.
A grant will issue for the employment of an aide who will help Boards of Management (BOM’s) to prepare school facilities for reopening (to include the erection of signage, inputting of sanitising stations, removal of excess furniture and so forth).
The first moiety of the budget for enhanced cleaning hours and additional cleaning agents will be provided now to cover the period September to December 2020. Further moieties will issue in 2021.
Base schools for supply panels nationwide have been selected by the Department of Education in approximately fifty areas and more panel areas will be chosen in the coming days.
INTO has been informed that the department is contacting schools who will be served by supply panels in various areas.
Leadership and Management Days
Many groups of five small schools with teaching principals have decided to appoint fixed-term teachers to cover their leadership and management days for the next school year. The base schools have sent application forms to the Department of Education seeking approval for the advertisement of these posts.
The Department of Education has issued an information note clarifying that the timeframes for the appointment process may be adjusted to enable schools to fill vacancies in advance of the beginning of the school year. Further information is available here.
INTO expects that the department will announce additional measures designed to increase the supply of teachers for the coming school year.
Revised circular on Teachers’ and SNA’s leave of absence
A revised circular detailing leave categories and substitutable absences is expected this week.
Stakeholder consultations on the safe reopening of schools will continue throughout August and into September.
Government Procurement Portal
INTO is advised that the procurement portal for sanitising liquids and PPE is expected to go live this week. Further information will follow.
Illustrative Classroom Layouts
Illustrative drawings for 40 metre squared mainstream classrooms and a checklist regarding the maintenance of physical distancing in primary and special schools has been made available by the Department (click here to access the illustrations).
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
INTO will shortly issue a set of Frequently Asked Questions.