Mishandling of school return threatens the entire process – again

Aodhán Ó Ríordáin TD
16 January 2021
  • Schools getting email at 8pm on a Friday evening no way to do business.

  • Safety concerns and childcare needs for SNAs and teachers must be addressed.

Labour Education spokesperson Aodhán Ó Ríordáin has criticised the approach of the Minister and her Department of sending out emails at 8pm on a Friday evening, that in effect announced and directed the return of staff without their full agreement when legitimate concerns remained to be addressed.

Deputy Ó Ríordáin said:

“It is deeply irresponsible for the government, the Minister for Education and her Department to use pre-emptive announcements to reopen classes for special needs children and this mishandling threatens the entire process again.

“Last night the government announced the return of in-school teaching for special needs children from Thursday 21st, however it is clear that not all the concerns of staff have been addressed.

“Sending such an important directive by email at 8pm on a Friday evening is no way to do business.

“The issuing of guidelines was conflated with reopening. The government, by trying to announce their way to reopening SEN schools without showing due respect to partnership and the genuine concerns of SNAs and teachers is once again causing unnecessary anxiety for parents, children, and staff.

“It is clear that there are outstanding safety concern issues. The childcare and home schooling needs for children of SNAs and SEN teachers must also be addressed.”

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