Special needs assistants are set to return to classrooms on a phased basis, if a range of Covid-19 safety measures are rolled out.

Their union Forsa has set out the measures it says are necessary to make classrooms and other schools areas safe - including reduced or staggered attendance at first.

Among the measures is a NPHET assessment of staff and student safety, as well as prioritisation of school staff for vaccinations and serial school-based testing.

Meanwhile, Sligo /Leitrim TD Marian Harkin also says the Government should consider prioritising teachers, SNAs and occupational & speech therapists who work in special education for Covid-19 vaccines, in an efforts to restore these services as soon as possible for children with special needs.

Deputy Harkin told Midwest News that something needs to be done urgently to ensure these children are not further disadvantaged, as many of the children cannot generally access online learning....

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