The Sligo /Mayo INTO rep, Vincent  Duffy says the government’s 375 million euro  package for re-opening schools announced yesterday evening is welcome, but the time frame - of a just over a month, to deliver all that it contains, will be difficult to achieve.

The Education Minister Norma Foley said there's no shortage of available primary school teachers to utilise as part of the plan to re-open schools.

The plan includes money for increased substitution in case a teacher gets sick, or can't work because they're in a vulnerable category.

There's also money in the package to recruit more than 1,000 extra secondary school teachers to help reduce class sizes.

The Teachers Union of Ireland (TUI) claims it may not be possible to find the extra 1,000 extra teaching staff promised. President Martin Marjoram says the department already had trouble in finding enough teachers, before the pandemic.

While John Boyle the General Secretary of the INTO is concerned the number of additional teachers for primary schools won't be enough in some areas.

Some students may be taught in parish halls or GAA facilities when they return to school, if their school buildings cannot accommodate adequate social distancing.

Children from junior infants to second class won't have to observe social distancing but all others will have to be spaced a metre from their classmates.

75 million euro is being allocated to allow schools adapt their classrooms.

INTO rep in this region Vincent Duffy, is the principal of Breaffy NS, outside Ballina and he gave his reaction to the multi million euro package to Midwest News this lunchtime.


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