Schools have "no option" but to close indefinitely, former minister warns

The ASTI plans to withdraw from supervision and substitution duties

Schools have "no option" but to close indefinitely, former minister warns

Pictured (left to right) ASTI General-Secretary Kieran Christie, ASTI President Ed Byrne at the Department of Education | Image: RollingNews.ie

A former education minister says school management have "no option" but to close indefinitely if teacher's go on strike.

It comes as talks between the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI) and Department of Education are resuming.

This follows hours of negotiations Saturday which failed to reach a conclusion, as well as meetings earlier this week and last week.

Both parties aim to resolve the dispute over pay and conditions ahead of strike action on Monday.

The ASTI plans to withdraw from supervision and substitution duties, which is set to see the closure of around 400 schools across the country.

In statement, Department of Education say: "The ASTI's withdrawal from supervision and substitution from Monday is directly linked to their refusal to work the Croke Park hours (less than an hour a week), which are worked by every public servant in the state.

"Department officials have remained in regular contact with the school management bodies on contingency arrangements ahead of the withdrawal of supervision and substitution.

"However, at this stage it remains the case that widespread school closures are expected...due to the ASTI’s industrial action and non-cooperation with contingency."

Mary Hanafin told the Sunday Show here on Newstalk the approach by teachers is tying the hands of schools.