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Corona virus and school closure.

Mar 12, 2020

On behalf of the four Patrons and in response to this morning’s announcement by the Taoiseach and Government, that schools have been instructed to close with effect from 6pm this evening until March 29th, schools should ask note the following:
 
  • The guidance of the Patrons is that all ancillary staff employed in the school be paid as normal during this period of school closure. Attached is a letter from the DES confirming that grants supporting grant-funded staff in school will be paid as normal.
  • Boards of Management may identify a need to continue to manage school communications during this time of closure, particularly with respect to supporting the continuing education of pupils at home. In doing this they must take full cognisance of guidance from the HSE and the DES with respect to managing employment at this time.
  • I have been advised by the Diocese that all confirmations have been cancelled with immediate effect until at least Easter.
  • I am instructing that with respect to recruitment within schools that all interviews now be cancelled until further notice. This is in line with the government’s instruction and guidance with regard to social distancing.
  • Should the Board of Management need to meet in the coming weeks, I remind them of the provisions of Section 13.3(g) of the Governance Manual for Primary Schools 2019-2023, which provides for the use of a conference call to facilitate a meeting in limited circumstances. These are such circumstances.

St. Senan’s Education Office will remain open during the coming weeks and you can continue to contact the office by phone or email. We will be managing the organisation of the office in line with HSE guidance.
Finally, on behalf of the Patrons, and the staff of St. Senan’s, may I wish you, all those involved in the life of the schools we serve all the best in the coming weeks. Over the last two months, St. Senan’s have been delivering training courses to Boards of Management. At them, and before the current crisis, I have been using the following prayer. I think it appropriate for the challenge before us:

 

Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing dismay you,
All things pass,
God never changes.
Patience attains all that it strives for,
They who have God find they lack nothing,
God alone suffices.

 

God bless.


Alan Hynes
 
Acting Director
St. Senan’s Education Office
Archdiocese of Cashel and Emly & Dioceses of Kerry, Killaloe & Limerick

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