Staff and students with health issues 'forgotten about’ claims Limerick TD

Fintan Walsh

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Fintan Walsh

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Staff and students with health issues 'forgotten about’ claims Limerick TD

Deputy Maurice Quinlivan says the Department of Health’s roadmap “offers very little guidance” on how children with health conditions can be supported in the Covid-19 era

A LIMERICK TD has accused the Government of not offering full supports and assurances for staff and students with underlying health conditions, as schools commence their reopening.

Maurice Quinlivan, Sinn Fein, said the Department of Health’s roadmap “offers very little guidance” on how children with health conditions can be supported.

“While small in percentage terms, in real terms many children will see their lives profoundly affected, and they are just as much entitled to a decent education as anyone else.

“There is very little guidance on how they will be supported and it appears that much of the responsibility will fall on special education teachers. These teachers will be pulled from pillar to post as it stands under the government's plans and will be very stretched in attempting to provide education remotely on top of their existing duties,” he stated. 

The Dail reconvenes this week following the highly-anticipated reopening of schools. The Government has come under intense scrutiny by teachers, parents, students and the public over the level of communication and clarity on guidance to ensure safety in the classrooms. 

“I know that there are parents who want to keep their at-risk children safe, but are worried that they will lose out educationally if they keep them at home. I am also aware that many teachers and staff are deeply concerned that if they are at high-risk, but not at very high-risk, that they must attend.”

Deputy Quinlivan said unions have contacted the Department in relation to instances of staff with medical conditions. 

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