COVID-19 Closure of Schools and Colleges
18 March 2020
The Irish Government directed that all schools and colleges were to close 6pm, 12 March 2020. We set out some initial considerations for our Education Sector clients following this new direction from Government.
In complying with the Government’s direction, we advise that school Principals, Boards of Management, Managers and Education and Training Boards maintain good, regular lines of communication with parents and staff.
Schools and colleges are being asked, where possible, to continue to plan and provide online lessons, while being conscious that not all students will have online access available or access may be reduced due to parents and others working from home.
Previous direction from the Department of Education and Skills to recognised Primary, Secondary, Community and Comprehensive Schools and ETBs (Circular letter 20/2020) was that in the event of a HSE directed school closure that teachers and SNAs would continue to be paid. We are not aware of any contrary direction from the Department for this mandated closure. For ancillary staff, previous direction from the Department (Circular letter 21/2020) to ETBs was that in the event of a HSE directed school closure that these staff members would continue to be paid. Again, we are not aware of any contrary direction from the Department for this closure. It is our view that Boards of Management (and Managers) of non-ETB schools should give consideration to doing the same.
Our Education Law team will continue to be available to you for advice throughout this closure period and beyond. Please contact us if you have any queries or concerns.