'Trepidation and fear' among teachers over possible Level 5 move - ASTI

 He said the safety and welfare of all members of the school community is “paramount”.
'Trepidation and fear' among teachers over possible Level 5 move - ASTI

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The general secretary of the ASTI has said there is “trepidation and fear” among teachers about the prospect of society moving to Level 5 and schools remaining open.

Kieran Christie told RTÉ’s Saturday with Katie Hannon that they wrote to the Minister for Education more than a week ago seeking “a comprehensive review of the health guidance and supports that are being brought into schools to determine whether they would be adequate in a situation where we are going to Level 5.” 

He said the safety and welfare of all members of the school community was “paramount”.

Mr Chirstie said that when schools originally opened case levels were at a much lower state.

He added: “We’re asking the question now that there are prospects of the entirety of society to move to Level 5, are the supports and are the arrangements in schools adequate given the change of situation?” 

Members of the ASTI are currently being balloted for industrial action due to safety concerns, and he said the result is due at the end of next week.

Mr Christie said that strike action would be a last resort.

It comes as the Irish Examiner spoke to people working in schools about concerns including the fear of not being classified as a close contact, and not being told about a case, which could then have ramifications for vulnerable family members.  

One staff member who tested positive for Covid-19 said a colleague with whom she works closely was not considered a close contact because they both wear masks in the classroom they share. 

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