29th October 2020
The INTO has been notified by the Department of Education that, following a review of the PPE product framework, the department is now advising that schools discontinue the use of certain products.
The department is taking 43 biocidal and 9 other products off the approved list for schools because it has not been possible to satisfactorily confirm their registration status as part of the review.
The categories of products impacted are:
- Hand sanitiser and hand sanitiser refills
The full list of affected products is available here.
Any school that is using products listed on the attached list should now discontinue the use of these products and should store them securely pending contact from the supplier to arrange for their collection.
If your school has stocks of the products on the ‘removed’ list, whether purchased through the agreement or purchased locally, please discontinue using them and store them safely pending collection by the supplier.
Schools impacted will be provided with funding to source new supplies. The Department of Education has issued an updated excel file called the Approved Product List 29 October 2020 which contains all the approved products on the agreement effective today with all relevant pricing information.
Any school that is impacted by this will be provided with funding for an aide for two days to assist with dealing with these issues. The funding for the aide and additional funding for schools impacted will issue as soon as possible. The daily rate payable is €143.32. Schools can decide themselves who they wish to employ to help with this work. INTO is advising schools to use these aides to undertake the work required to remedy this issue where possible.
The department has informed this union that they have sourced additional products from approved suppliers to ensure sufficient supply.
Schools seeking new product to replace stock should contact any of the suppliers on the approved product list directly to process orders. The department is putting in place supports in conjunction with the suppliers to provide stock to schools in time for Monday 2 November.
Schools that have engaged with suppliers but still have any difficulty sourcing an alternative supply can contact the department’s Covid-19 helpline or email address. The Schools Covid-19 helpline on 057 9324461 will be open until 8.30pm on Thursday and from 8am on Friday until 8pm and from 10am to 5pm Saturday and Sunday. The email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Emails will be monitored and replied to over the weekend also.
Reacting to this announcement, INTO General Secretary John Boyle said:
It is very concerning that many of the products on the approved list of resources have now been deemed inappropriate. That this information has come to light during the mid-term break is very unsatisfactory. School leaders and boards of management needed this break to recharge after an incredibly stressful nine weeks.”