COVID-19 - Temporary assignment arrangements for certain staff in the education and training sector
Circular letters 27/2020 (To managerial authorities of second level schools and ETB Chief Executives) and 28/2020 (To third level institutions) on temporary assignment arrangements for certain staff have been published by the Department of Education and Skills today.
In relation to the various grades in the sector it provides as follows:
Special Needs Assistants (SNAs)
Under the plan Special Needs Assistants (SNAs) are to be available for a new temporary assignment scheme as part of the Government’s response to Covid-19. A dedicated process has been set up by the Public Appointments Service on publicjobs.ie to put SNAs on standby to free up frontline workers for essential services. This development is part of a wider temporary assignment scheme which is opening for public sector employees and is being put in place in the event of an extension to public health measures.
In relation to the tuition being provided remotely/online following the closure of school, colleges, centres and other education settings, Minister McHugh said that “Staff across the education sector deserve huge thanks for the effort they are putting in to continue teaching and support for students amid the Covid-19 response. It is a very challenging time for everyone. Your work at this time will never be forgotten by the people you support.”
He added that, “Our priority in the education and training sector is to ensure young people and students keep learning, despite the trying circumstances.”
Therefore, teachers, lecturers and other educators engaged in providing the tuition are not considered to be available for the new temporary assignment scheme
The assignment arrangements
The temporary assignment arrangements will operate on the following basis in the education sector:
- Management across the education and training sector will need to consider how best to utilise staff to facilitate the delivery of educational services.
- All public servants who are not medically advised to self-isolate (because they are confirmed or pending confirmed Covid-19 cases) must be available to carry out work either to deliver services within their own sector (as a priority) or for temporary assignment within the wider public service.
- Any staff who are not required for educational or research services will be available for assignment on a temporary basis to support delivery of other essential public services.
- Temporary assignment will be managed on a structured, centralised basis through the Department of Education and Skills and the Public Appointments Service.