One of the country’s main teaching unions has said it will support the return of special needs and Leaving Cert student from the end of the month.
In a statement this evening, the Teachers Union of Ireland said its members would facilitate the re-opening of special classes in post-primary schools from Monday, February 22nd.
It said it’s Executive Council had also unanimously agreed to facilitate the return of Leaving Cert students, “from some point in the same week, subject to public health advice.”
The Forsa Trade Union, which represent Special Needs Assistants is
TUI President Martin Marjoram said it was supporting the return of special classes because, “a number of concerns expressed by the Union have been addressed.”
“In taking this decision, the Union acknowledges the vital importance of face-to-face provision for this cohort of students and took note of the range of additional supports and measures that have been agreed to protect students and staff,” he said.
“These measures, which had been sought by TUI, include full contact tracing and fast-track testing, provision of high-grade PPE for special education teachers and arrangements for staff in high-risk health categories and pregnant teachers to continue to provide remote learning.”
HE said the union will now “continue to engage on the sustainable re-opening of schools and all other related matters.’
“In addition, our Executive Committee has expressed its strong position that subject to the advice of the public health authorities, Leaving Certificate students should also return to schools during the week beginning 22nd February.”
The Association of Secondary Teachers in Ireland (ASTI) is also meeting to discuss the planned reopening this evening; however, it has yet to announce any agreement.
Special classes in primary schools are also due to reopen in the last week of February.
Special schools are due to reopen tomorrow.