IPPN statement on DES Covid-19 School Summer Provision Plan

IPPN welcomes the publication today (June 23rd) of the DES Covid-19 School Summer Provision Plan

IPPN and many of the other primary education partners have been involved in supporting the process to produce these protocols. We will continue to play our part to ensure that primary school communities will experience a return to school with as little disruption as possible.


Damian White IPPN President said: “We welcome today’s announcement of clear and concise guidelines for the roll out of the summer provision programme, but questions remain. Some of which are entirely dependent on the advice from National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET), who in turn must judge the prevailing situation. We welcome the opportunity for school communities to be able to return to school for the roll out of Summer provision. Public health is paramount, and any restrictions remaining are for the welfare of all.”


IPPN will continue to work alongside stakeholders to ensure that the most useful, practical and timely support is available to all school leaders and their Boards of Management to ensure that the proposed school return goes ahead without significant incident.

The key recommendations outlined in IPPN’s 13th May submission to the DES are set out below, along with progress to date. We will keep members informed of progress relating to the remaining items.

IPPN Key Recommendations re. Reopening of Schools

Recommendation

 

Implemented/Planned by DES

 1. Clear guidance in relation to all of the issues, challenges and concerns outlined below needs to be provided to all schools as soon as possible. Ideally it would be available online, so that the most up-to-date information is available when it is needed, and that it reflects current best practice. The most critical guidance relates to the protection of all members of the school community and the procedures and resources needed to ensure same.

In progress

 2. Schools need to have flexibility in how they allocate staff, including Special Education Teachers, to comply with social distancing requirements. To be confirmed

 3. Additional funding must be provided to schools up front to enable them to implement the guidelines in full. In addition, the centralised procurement and distribution to all schools of appropriate and sufficient PPE equipment and materials prior to their full reopening in the Autumn would greatly alleviate schools of a significant burden over the summer months.

In Progress

Schools will be reimbursed for PPE purchases for summer provision. Central procurement for school reopening advancing. cf Dalton Tattan letter to schools 23rd June

 4. Support must be given to schools in managing the full reopening of their buildings to staff and pupils – it must be a collaborative, rather than an inspection-based approach To be confirmed 
 5. Additional leadership and management time to be provided to teaching principals to flexibly meet the needs of the school. Some teaching principals may prefer to have additional support to focus on administration, so they can spend more time in the classroom – flexibility is the key here To be confirmed
 6. Training of all staff must be provided prior to reopening - so everyone has the same information at the same time. Additional training of caretaking and cleaning staff is also required   To be confirmed
 7. No school should lose a staff member owing to COVID-19 e.g. parental decision to keep children at home/defer their child’s start in junior infants  To be confirmed
 8. A checklist for schools - incorporating key short-term, medium-term and long-term actions – would be very helpful

In progress

Return to Work and Contact Tracing templates issued 23rd June.

 9. A ‘General Contract’ to be provided centrally for all parents for the new school year to accept the new terms and conditions that balance the safety of the school community with their child's right to an education  To be confirmed
 10. No new initiatives can be introduced in primary schools in the 2020/21 school year - to respect school staff who must prioritise getting their schools up and running in very changed circumstances – this will be sufficiently challenging for the next school year

Partially achieved

Circular 40/2020- no new SSE until at least January 2021.

 11. Inspections should be paused until at least January 2021. The role of inspectors should be temporarily changed to support schools to get back up and running and to restore normality.

Achieved

Circular 40/2020- no WSE until at least January 2021.


See full submission on www.ippn.ie. Click here to view.

 

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