All three teacher unions have expressed concern around the ability of schools to keep classrooms both well ventilated and warm over the coming months
Representatives from four trade unions representing teachers and other school workers are due before the Joint Committee on Education to discuss the safe running of schools under rona restrictions…
…the Teachers’ Union of Ireland will tell politicians that many second level school buildings are not fit for purpose. The union says air quality metres should be installed in every classroom, to ensure that students and teachers are not forced to teach and learn in freezing cold classrooms.
The Association of Secondary Teachers has echoed that call. It says its research shows that 84% of schools where it has members do not have a dedicated ventilation system.
Primary teachers’ union, the Irish National Teachers Organisation, has also expressed concern that a grant given to schools last week, to allow for minor works to be carried out, will not be sufficient to allow them to install air-monitoring systems.
The trade union representing Special Needs Assistants, Fórsa,will tell politicians it remains concerned at the lack of clarity regarding the provision of PPE to schools staff, and specifically to SNA’s and Bus Escorts who accompany children with disabilities on public transport.
A report by the Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa) – based on ‘international evidence gathered by researchers’ – shows that while the rona spreads easiest indoors, schools are not a ‘major source’ of infection as they are ‘supervised’ settings.
Via Irish Examiner:
The report singled out drinking and dining indoors, shouting or singing, and prolonged face-face conversation in crowded poorly ventilated settings as factors increasing the spread of coronavirus.
“Consistent evidence” that the virus does not spread as easily outdoors was cited in the report however clusters from outdoor settings were noted.
The report also emphasised the distinction between controlled and uncontrolled environments when communicating Covid-19 risk to the public.
It said a house party was “unsupervised” while schools were “supervised“. The report said this environment impacts a person’s awareness of public health measures.
Schools in Ireland according to the data gathered in the report have not been a major source of Covid-19 infections….
From left: George Kennedy, John Boland, David Phayer, Thomas Hogan and a man who did not wish to be identified by name
Department of Education, Dublin 2.
A group of men who were sexually abused as children by a teacher at Creagh Lane primary school in Limerick protest outside the Dáil, over the State’s ongoing failure to grant them the redress they are due.
Today is the fifth time in recent years that the ‘Creagh Lane men’, as they are known, have travelled from Limerick to Dublin to try to draw attention to their situation through protest.
A State redress scheme was established for survivors of abuse in national schools, after the European Court of Human Rights ruled in the Louise O’Keeffe case that the State did share liability for their abuse.
But the Creagh Lane men are among what is believed to be hundreds excluded by the scheme’s narrow interpretation of the European court ruling.
A year ago, the Government accepted a former judge’s finding that that the conditions of that scheme were “inherently illogical”, “fundamentally unfair” to applicants, and should be changed.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin (above second right) and Minister for Education Norma Foley (above far right) visited Scoil Fiachra National School where they were given a tour of the school and a briefing on the work undertaken to mess with young heads prepare the school for reopening.
ISOLATION ROOM? Parents & staff at Clonbonny National School bear Athlone are NOT happy with the lack of support from Dept of Education in their efforts to get extra space at the school. This is the garden shed – where children with covid symptoms will be isolated at the school pic.twitter.com/BVodP1KkKE
This is a bizarre document to ask kids to sign – responsibility for keeping kids safe is foisted onto the shoulders of young children, many of whom are already anxious. (via @williamhboney1) pic.twitter.com/pX9YP9QeYd
Overall €40 million has been spent by the State so far on remediation works in dozens of schools [built by Co Tyrone-based company Western Building Systems] where fire safety breaches and structural defects were discovered, RTÉ News has learned.
The figure is expected to be contained in an update that the Minister for Education Joe McHugh is expected to give to the Cabinet at its weekly meeting later this morning.
…However, the €40m bill will rise over this year and next. Work on structural repairs to eight more schools is due to begin in the New Year. Plans are being drawn up for repairs to a further 17 schools, where work is expected to begin next summer.
Engineers have identified structural flaws in 17 school buildings that will require temporary works to be carried out in coming weeks in order to ensure that they are safe for pupils and staff to return to in September.
The 17 schools are in addition to 22 others where defects discovered last year required precautionary measures, such as scaffolding and protective fencing, to be put in place.
Two of the 17 schools newly identified with structural defects were built just last year, while several others were completed as recently as 2017 and 2016.
After it was announced last month that the completion of the new Holy Family (Curraghmore) National School has been pushed back AGAIN to October 2019 (the 9th revision date in the last 5 years) we are taking action to ensure the newest date is met this time.
We have had excuse after excuse and we don’t know what the issue is that is causing such delays so we now just want to highlight the issue and put the pressure on to get the school delivered.
The site is not being resourced adequately and it looks unlikely that the new October 2019 date will be met now either.
The building was originally supposed to be ready around September 2015/2016. It is a 12 month contract.
Since then, 287 students are in inadequate prefab buildings on an overcrowded site. 46 of the new junior infants this year will begin their school experience off site.
This includes 24 ASD /Special Needs students who are among the most vulnerable in society.