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Over 500 shielding school staff return to work

Over 500 shielding school staff return to work

Monday 06 July 2020

Over 500 shielding school staff return to work


More than 500 school workers, including over 230 teachers, who were ‘shielding’ from covid-19 due to their health or age have now been cleared to return to work after a major review with managers and GPs.

A total of 237 teachers and 299 non-teaching staff who were previously shielding - a measure to protect those at higher risk of becoming seriously ill from the virus - have been given the go-ahead to return to the workplace, Express has learned.

This leaves just 26 teachers and 30 non-teaching staff still working from home, two weeks after schools began their phased reopening

It comes after the Education Department reported that more than 10,000 pupils had returned to school before the summer holidays begin.

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Pictured: More than 10,000 pupils have returned to classrooms over the last two weeks. 

Of this, Group Director of Education Seán O’Regan said: “Attendance in all our primary schools has been remarkably high with almost all children now back in school. As we reach the end of June, it is important to acknowledge everyone’s hard work in getting all year groups back to school. It has been a pleasure to see, in person, the joy on faces of children and parents as they have returned to such a warm welcome from school staff.”

Ahead of schools reopening, Director General for Children, Young People, Education and Skills Mark Rogers told Express that “all staff who have a level of vulnerability are being asked to review their vulnerability with their line manager and make an assessment as to whether they need to continue to work from home or actually, with advice, also perhaps from a GP they might be able to find them working back in the school environment again.”

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Pictured: Director General of CYPES Mark Rogers. 

The Education Minister, Senator Tracey Vallois, also indicated that supply teachers would be used to plug any resulting gaps in the workforce.

The Government has now confirmed that 24 supply staff have been brought in to cover those who have been shielding.

Staff are not being asked to wear PPE while at school, but masks are available should any student or staff member become symptomatic.

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