IPPN call for clear guidance for the delivery of Summer Provision programmes and the re-opening schools

June 12th 2020

IPPN acknowledge the announcement today (June 12th) of a summer provision programme for children with special needs and students in DEIS schoolsand recognise the importance of these programmes for these children. We are now calling for clear guidelines to be published in order for schools to deliver these programmes in a safe and orderly manner. School leaders above all else recognise the level of need for students with special needs or students suffering disadvantage and wish to support them. However, the significant challenges of school leaders and boards of management in managing the roll out of these programmes in the absence of any formal guidelines must be recognised.

We further acknowledge the publication  of the “Planning for reopening schools in line with the Roadmap for reopening society and business” report to government issued by the Department of Education and Skills today. We are disappointed at the lack of definitive guidelines and clarity in the document which will hinder schools leaders in their efforts to plan for the reopening of their schools.

IPPN President Damian White said:

“This a time of unprecedented challenge for everyone in the school community.The viability of a summer programme without clear and concise guidelines is inconceivable presently. It is imperativethat before the roll out of any such programme that guidelines are released to boards of management and schools leaders for review in a timely fashion to allow for sufficient planning and preparation.”

It is important that all organisations work closely together to ensure that the return to school for children and staff is safe and in keeping with best practices as laid out by NPHET and the HSE. Alongside our formal engagement with the DES, we will be working closely with key stakeholders in the primary education space to ensure a joined up approach in supporting our members.

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