Kyne calls for regular testing of students and teachers to allow special needs schools reopen

Galway senator urges Department of Education and the unions to continue discussions

Regular Covid-19 testing of students and teachers in special needs schools could help alleviate the concerns of the teachers and their unions, in a dispute which has seen such schools remain closed.

The Government had decided to reopen special needs schools, following on from the experience of the first lockdown which saw children with special needs suffered particularly during the schools’ closure. However, unions were concerned for the safety of teaching staff and students being in close contact in classrooms during what has proven to be the worst phase of the pandemic.

Senator encourages talks

Consequently, the unions instructed members not to turn up for work, and this resulted in the Government having to reverse the decision to re-open. As a result, Galway Fine Gael senator, Seán Kyne [pictured above], has called on the Department of Education and the unions "to continue discussions until this issue is solved and special needs schools are reopened".

“The sacrifices everyone has made over the past year have been real and deep," he said. "It would mean a lot to everybody if those with the greatest need got the help and support they require at this very difficult time. Regular testing of students and teachers in special needs schools could help alleviate the concerns of the teachers and their unions. I hope this can be considered by the Department.”

 

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