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Carlow school principal says “ambiguity and confusion” remains over special needs students’ educaion

Special schools may not know until Tuesday whether they can reopen on Thursday

A Carlow school principal is raising concerns about the “confusion and ambiguity” surrounding the reopening of special schools next week.

The Department of Education wrote to school principals last night (Friday) setting out an agreed plan for the resumption of in-class learning this Thursday.

However Fórsa, which represents 12,000 staff, including SNA’s, claims there’s no agreement, and further talks won’t be held on the issue until Tuesday.

Fergal Browne, of St Joseph’s National School in Carlow, says many questions still need to be answered;

“There’s still a lot of confusion over the mainstream pupils who access the special education. We need to clarify exactly who is entitled to come into the school, and for how long. That’s why all the Carlow town principals are having a meeting on Monday morning, to discuss that. But certainly this ambiguity and confusion that has emerged today is very unhelpful.”

Fergal, who’s also the Mayor of Carlow, says Forsa and the Dept of Education should work more closely together;

“I think a lot of people do want to see the schools partially reopen, in a safe manner, but it’s really confusing that the Department are sending out a letter late on Friday evening, and then Fórsa are coming out afterwards and saying they don’t agree with it, even though they said they agreed initially with the letter. I’d call on all the parties involved to get together, quicker than Tuesday, to make sure there’s absolute clarity on this.”