The Association of Secondary Teachers in Ireland (ASTI) has told members not to co-operate the government’s plan to reopen schools for Leaving Cert Students.
The union said it has no confidence that schools are safe places to be next week.
The government announced yesterday that mainstream schools are to close until 1st February, but provisions are being made to bring Leaving Certificate students into the classroom three days a week. Minister for Education Norma Foley also announced that special schools, special classes and specialised settings will be fully open from Monday.
The ASTI’s Standing Committee has directed its members not to co-operate with the arrangements for in-school teaching, but to engage in remote teaching/learning.
The decision is based on significant concerns about the health and safety of students, teachers and other staff.
Following the Minister’s announcement, the ASTI said it received a high number of communications from second-level teachers expressing their concern that the movement of more than 80,000 individuals to and from schools is not essential and poses a great threat to public health in the current context.
ASTI President Ann Piggott said: “The ASTI has repeatedly sought sufficient assurances that schools are safe for students and teachers at this time, in the context of the new variant of Covid-19 circulating in the community and the alarmingly high numbers.
“We engaged with the Department of Education and with public health officials today. Unfortunately, the assurances we sought have not been forthcoming.”