Teachers fearful ahead of schools reopening

A local INTO member says many teachers are ‘fearful’ when it comes to schools reopening tomorrow after the Christmas holidays.

The Education Minister says ‘significant resources’ are being put in place to ensure schools stay open.

The return to the classroom will go ahead tomorrow despite concerns of staff shortages due to Covid-19 measures.

The teaching union, the ASTI, says some schools could be missing up to half of their staff.

Education Minister Norma Foley says the reopening of schools won’t be without its challenges:


Vincent Duffy is the Sligo/Mayo representative for the INTO.

The Ballina School Principal says most teachers and parent wold have preferred if the reopening of schools was pushed back.

He says there are a number of genuine concerns in relation to the how schools will cope with the challenges of outbreaks and covid and staff shortages.

In the eventuality of the worst case scenario coming to pass and school principals having to close  due to an outbreak of Covid 19 or due to the shortage of staff who will take the decision to shut schools.  The Principal, School Board of Management of the Department of Education?.

Difference of opinions have arose between schools and the Department when it came to closing schools and Vincent Duffy says that once again there is a lot of confusion around this issue less than 24 hours away from schools reopening.

A local secondary school teachers’ union leader said they hoped to find out more about how schools will reopen following another meeting with department officials today.

Brendan Greene, a teacher in St Clare’s Comprehensive School in Manorhamilton and a spokesman for the Teachers Union of Ireland, said operational issues were not resolved at yesterday’s meeting.

Mr Greene said flexibility is key when it comes to the reopening of schools.