breakingnews.ie– Special needs schools are set to reopen on February 11th after agreement was reached between teachers’ unions and the Department of Education.
The revised plan will see special schools opening with 50 per cent student attendance.
Classes for special needs pupils in other schools will resume on February 22nd.
The move paves the way for the wider reopening of schools over the coming weeks.
The Irish National Teachers’ Association (INTO) and Fórsa, which represents special needs assistants, met on Monday afternoon following talks with the Department of Education over safety concerns.
The leadership of both unions said they were satisfied with progress made on its demands for additional safety and support measures.
At the time Minister for Education Norma Foley accused unions of rejecting public health advice that schools were safe environments, while unions insisted the Government move to reopen schools was premature.
Over the past two week, both unions have been engaged in intensive talks with the Department over safety issues.
Following a special meeting of the INTO’s central executive committee on Monday afternoon, INTO president Mary Magner said revised protocols and plans set out by the Department offer a “proportionate and limited reopening of special education provision, led by public health advice”.