Cork Primary School Teacher Says Substitute Crisis Is “Pressing Issue” In Irish Schools

A Cork primary school teacher says that the substitute crisis is a pressing issue in Irish schools.

John O’Driscoll spoke to RedFM News, as the Department of Education attempts to alleviate the severe shortage of substitute cover for teachers.

Further Covid measures will also be introduced into schools next week.

Antigen testing will be available from Monday, and will be provided if a child within a pod tests positive on a PCR test or if there are two or more cases in a week.

Meanwhile NPHET has recommended children aged 9 or over wear face masks in indoor settings.

But Cork Teacher, and Vice President of the INTO, John O’Driscoll says the shortage of substitute cover means that special needs children may be particularly affected:

“It is a very pressing issue for schools. In the old days, prior to Covid, if a teacher was out, the class could be spread among the other classes in the school for the day but we can’t do that obviously now with the COVID restrictions. Prior to Halloween, you could bring in a Sub, or if you had to use your Special Ed teacher to fill in, you can bank the hours that the Special Needs children were losing and get them back. That was changed so a lot of the time now, Special Ed teachers are being redeployed.”


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