Key updates for members – DE/NPHET weekly meeting

The INTO Central Executive Committee today noted the latest outcome of engagement with the public health authorities and the Department of Education. Latest developments as detailed below relate to issues including:

  • Awareness campaign
  • High risk teachers
  • Ventilation
  • Data

We will seek to keep members informed of any developments as and when we become aware of them.

Public Awareness Campaign

INTO was briefed that the Department of Education campaign to raise public awareness with parents is moving ahead, with the production and dissemination of an informational video (click here to view).

The HSE has also produced videos for principals and teachers which are linked below under question 5.

INTO will be sharing these materials with members as they become available.

School support

INTO was notified that the number of principals seeking support from the public health authorities has dropped from fifty per day to thirty per day and even less at weekends. NPHET also shared data they are collecting which will enable the INTO to explore queries from schools in a more granular level and to identify trends which may warrant additional support.

Latest public health data

Following public health risk assessments 110 individuals aged over eighteen in schools have tested positive for Covid-19, with fewer than five cases so far this month.

There appears to be growing concern over the number of close contacts among staff in certain schools and the Department of Education and NPHET will amplify guidance for school staff.

High risk teachers

As noted in previous reports, INTO again raised the issue of high risk and vulnerable teachers. Public health officials confirmed that they will be keeping these cases under regular review. A small number of immuno-compromised teachers who were previously categorised as high risk have been advised to work remotely since mid-term break.


INTO again raised concerns with respect to ventilation in schools as we head into winter. The Department of Education building and planning unit will shortly produce revised recommendations on ventilation in schools. INTO will share these new recommendations with members as soon as they become available.  INTO will also be demanding that any additional funding required for primary and special schools towards proper ventilation of their buildings be made available to schools immediately.

Public Health Webinar For Principal Teachers

The Department of Education and Department of Health will be hosting a webinar for school principals in the coming weeks.

INTO will continue to meet members of NPHET in the coming weeks and the Department of Education will also be meeting primary education stakeholders on a regular basis.


INTO put several questions to officials from the Department of Education and NPHET and the following are the questions and answers provided: