September 28, 2023

Kilkenny kids with special education needs will not be returning to school tomorrow

Kilkenny children with special educational needs will not be returning to school tomorrow after the government confirmed their phased return was not possible when a deal with teaching unions was not reached.

Education Minister Norma Foley made the announcement that SNA services planned to resume tomorrow have now been cancelled and put the blame for the impasse down to a lack of co-operation by the unions in the primary sector.

Just this morning, the Irish National Teacher’s Organisation called for further talks to find a solution to schools reopening and was not accepting any blame.

A statement released by Minister Norma Foley said: “It is hugely important to provide in-person learning to this vulnerable cohort of children, and I regret that this has not been possible.

“The concerns and fears of teachers and SNAs have been well articulated, and I, along with my officials have listened carefully at every stage of this process. I have full confidence in our public health advice which, at all times, has underpinned our approach to keeping schools safe.

“This is the first time that unions have refused to accept the advice provided by public health specialists,” Minister Foley concluded.

John Boyle, General-Secretary of the INTO speaking on Newstalk Breakfast said apportioning blame was pointless and it was time a solution was found.

“I don’t think that the culture of blame is going to sort this out, it’s a waste of time.

“We need to focus on fixing the problem here and finding a solution.

“It’s really disappointing that it came to this impasse last evening after all the work that we did with Government over the summer,” Mr Boyle said.

He believes that February 1 could be a possibility for a return if all sides return to talks and agree on a way forward.




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