Returning to school August 2020

Summary of information for parents.

  • New children will be in school from August 31st. This is a ½ day, 9.00 to 12.00. The buses will operate on that day.
  • All children will be in school from September 1st. This too is a ½ day.
  • Normal school hours from September 2nd, 9.00 to 2.40.
  • Safety will be our number 1 concern and will underpin everything we do.
  • Your child will be met by staff and brought to their line one by one.
  • Please do not gather at the entrance to the school.
  • Please do not park anywhere near the entrance to the school as we will need all the space to get the children in safely.
  • Your child will need lunch and drink and a school bag. All other material will be provided for them.
  • Please send in rainy day clothes that we can keep in school. These should be clearly marked with your child’s name. We will keep these clothes in school.
  • PLEASE do not send your child to school if you have been abroad unless you have completed the full 14 day quarantine.
  • Please do not send your child to school if they have any symptoms whatsoever. It is better to keep your child at home to see how symptoms develop rather than take a chance.
  • Please send in an e mail address for contact if you have not yet done so.
  • Your child will need to be able to open their own lunch boxes, tie their own shoes, button their own coats and open their own drinks.
  • Please do not come into the school at any time. You can e mail Angela on angela.power@stoliverplunkett.ie or Janette on janette.martin@stoilverplunkett.ie.
  • If your child needs medication during school time, please let us know.
  • If your child has allergies, please let us know what symptoms to expect and also keep a careful eye in case these symptoms change.
  • Uniforms should be taken off as soon as the child gets home and could hang in the fresh air after school. If you don’t have a uniform that is clean send your child in in ordinary clothes.
  • Bank transfers, refunds for swimming and uniforms will all be sorted out next week.
  • There must be someone available AT ALL TIMES to collect your child in the event of a Covid scare.
  • Buses will be in touch with you re pick up points and times.
  • There will be no homework at the start of the year.
  • The issue of primary school children wearing masks is still be debated. If you want your child to wear a mask, there is no problem but they must know how to use it properly and you must supply properly fitting child-sized masks.
  • Please practice safe handwashing again with your child.
  • If you are giving your child a particular hand sanitizer, please ensure it is in a spill proof bottle and that children do not share.
  • Please read the entire Covid Response Plan. It isn’t the most exciting read in the world but it is very important. It is available under “Policies”.

Covid-19 Response Plan

Covid 19 Response Plan

Final

St Oliver Plunkett National School

Alma Place

Carrickbrennan Road

Monkstown

Co. Dublin

August 2020

This is a living document and may be reviewed and amended to take into account new guidance from www.Gov.ie, www.dbei.ie , www.hse.ie, www.hpsc.ie, www.hsa.ie; www.education.ie  or agreements with education partners as appropriate for primary and special schools.

1        Introduction

 

The Board of Management acknowledges the difficulties involved in the opening of the school and wishes to reassure the school community that every effort is being made to make this process as safe as possible. The reopening is underpinned by the following considerations:

  • Safety will be the first consideration at all times. This may mean that education will be challenging at times.
  • Measures will be very restrictive in the beginning but the wish is that new procedures, that will lead to a more enriching environment for everyone, will be introduced over time when it is safe to do so.
  • These measures will only be as strong as the weakest adherence to them. Parents, children and staff are all in a large community together and the safety of each individual will very much depend on the actions of each member of this community. Behaviour outside of school will impact the health of others when in school. Now, more than ever, we will be depending on each other.
  • The community will come before the individual, measures that are introduced may not be to everyone’s taste but, since they are underpinned by the common good, no deviation from them will be allowed. Non-adherence will be considered a disciplinary issue and will be referred immediately to the Board of Management.

This Covid 19 Response Plan has been developed in line with public health advice issued by the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) and in compliance with the “Return to Work Safely Protocols” developed by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation and the Department of Health with guidance documents provided by the Health and Safety Authority (HSA).

It is the intention of The Board of Management of St Oliver Plunkett National School, in accordance with all relevant guidelines, to identify the steps that will be taken to minimise the risk of the introduction of COVID-19 into St Oliver Plunkett NS. It is, however, recognized that no interpersonal activity is without risk of transmission of infection at any time.

In addition to being a place of learning, St Oliver Plunkett NS is also place of work. The purpose of this document is to provide clear and helpful guidance for the prevention, early detection, and control of COVID-19 in school. This document provides key messages to minimise the risk of COVID-19 for staff, pupils, families and the wider community while recognising the importance of education for the health and wellbeing of pupils and society as a whole.

Planning and Preparing for  a Return to School

Before reopening schools for the 2020/21 school year, the management of St Oliver Plunkett NS will have:

  • planned to keep up to date with public health advice, changes to any Government plans for the safe reopening of society and Department of Education updates.
    • planned to pass on this information in a timely manner to staff, pupils, parents and others as required.
    • ensured that staff have reviewed the training materials provided by the Department of Education
    • provided staff with access to the Return to Work (RTW) form
    • identified a Lead Worker representative

We have decided on a team instead of one individual. This Covid Team will consist of the Principal, Deputy Principal and Teacher Representative on the Board of Management. (Angela, Alison and Julie). An SNA will also be selected for this team.

  • displayed posters and other signage to prevent introduction and spread of COVID-19
    • made the necessary changes to the school and classroom layout to support the redesign of classrooms to support physical distancing.
    • organised for the removal of unnecessary clutter to facilitate ongoing cleaning of the school considering the importance of having educational materials to create a stimulating learning environment.
    • updated the health and safety risk assessment
    • made necessary arrangements to limit access to the school to necessary visitors and maintain records of contacts to the school
    • provided induction training.

School profile

63 pupils (33 new)

7 mainstream class teachers

1 administrative principal

5 SNAs

1 Caretaker

1Secretary

1 cleaning company (now 3 hours per day and a commitment that, as far as is possible, the same staff will clean the school every day)

For the purposes of this document the “old” part of the school is Rooms 2 to 5 inclusive and the “new” part is Room 6, 7, the staff room, library and hall. Room 1 and the secretary’s office are in the “extension”

Classes vary in size from 46 sq. metres (Room 3) to 63 sq. metres (Room 7)

There are toilets in rooms 1, 6 and 7. There are sinks in all of the classrooms. There are two toilet blocks with 3 cubicles each on the old corridor and 2 individual toilets located in the hall.

Additional challenges

There is no on-site parking for parents/guardians and very limited and cramped parking for staff. This parking blocks the gate at times.

There is no room for parents who bring their children to school to gather safely outside the school.

There are no dedicated toilets for all classrooms

There is no outside access door in each classroom

The staffroom/kitchen is very small.

The majority of the children travel to school on 4 different bus/taxi routes. The guidelines around safety on school transport is not at all reassuring at this time. This is one of our biggest challenges and the safety of our bus escorts is a priority. Each escort will be provided with PPE and we have decided that children will be obliged to wear masks on the school buses and are watching daily developments on this.

Children will be anxious, parents will be anxious and staff will be too.

Because of the volatility of the national situation, the school will need to prepare for shutdown as soon as it opens.

Assumptions

School will re-open for all NEW pupils on Monday, August 31st, 2020. The school will open for all pupils on Tuesday, September 1st. Both of these days will be ½ days. Normal school hours will resume on Wednesday, September 2nd, 2020. From September 2nd school will open at 9.00 and close at 2.40.

The School Day

Arrival/Entry into the building

At the moment the official position is to fill the buses as normal with no allowance for social distancing. Obviously, this could/will change.

Bus Escorts have an issue with one bus company as bus hygiene and cleanliness leave a lot to be desired. This is an ongoing issue. The principal has spoken to the school bus inspector about it. The bus company in question have been reminded of their responsibilities and if these is an issue in September, the inspector will be contacted and he will inspect the bus. We will advise parents that the bus may not be up to standard.

It will not be possible for parents/guardians to come on to the school grounds or into the school building at any time of the day.

Children, or parents, were never allowed onto the school grounds before 9.00 and this will remain the case. On no account will anyone be allowed to congregate outside the gates.

All staff will need to be on the premises no later than 8.50. This will be essential to ensure safe entry of all children. Parents are asked to wait at a safe distance outside the school, preferably by parking safely and walking their child to the pavement outside. Social distancing will be essential at this point. No parking will be allowed close to the entry to the lane and this will be strictly enforced. This is to ensure that there is an open space to allow children to enter safely.  There will be no parking before the gate on either side.

The principal and SNAs will meet the children (one by one) and direct them safely to their designated line where their teacher will be waiting. These lines will be stencilled onto the tarmac in line with social distancing. Teachers will wait at the head of the line.

Children will start to be admitted from 9.00am. It is envisaged that this will be very slow at the beginning as it will be important to get it right and because the new children will need extra time. Lines will be clearly marked with “feet” stencils and room number.

Temperatures will not be taken every day but an infrared thermometer has been purchased for use in school.

Children will be brought into the building through the designated doors. They will sanitize their hands before they enter the building.

All staff will wear masks and/or visors. These are, however, useless unless used properly.

Very confused national messaging is coming through on children wearing masks. At the moment, they are not mandatory for our students but can be worn if parents feel that it is safer. Your child will need to be educated in the proper use of a mask, and you will need to provide them. We will have a small store of child-sized masks.

In advance of the school reopening, the Principal, Deputy Principal and chairperson of the BOM will meet with the parents of the children in a Zoom meeting. This document will be available on the school, website from Wednesday, August 26th.

Children will enter the building in the following manner:

Rooms 1 and 2 will enter through the main door

Rooms 3 and 4 will enter through the Red Door.

Room 5 will enter through the yard door.

Room 6 will enter through their fire door

Room 7 will enter through their fire door.

The children will sanitise their hands before entering the building.

Physical Distancing

Physical distancing can be usefully applied in primary settings allowing for some flexibility when needed. It must be applied in a practical way.

A clear area around the teacher and SNA desk will be marked to ensure that a 2 m area of social distancing is maintained. Children will not cross this area unless they are invited to do so.

Maintaining physical distancing in the school environment is recommended as one of the key control measures to minimize the risk of the introduction and spread of COVID-19

The DES guidelines recognise that a common-sense approach is needed in our Primary schools. To that end, every effort will be made to limit interactions within classrooms, to limit contact between class groups and to limit the sharing of common facilities.

Staff will maintain a minimum of 1m distance and where possible 2m. They will also take measures to avoid close contact at face to face level such as remaining standing rather than sitting beside/crouching down.

Each class in St Oliver Plunkett has 9 pupils, a teacher and, in 5 classrooms, an SNA. The children and their teacher and SNA constitute a “Bubble”. A Bubble is a grouping which stays apart from other classes as much as possible. The aim of the system within the school is that Bubbles stay together from arrival at school in the morning until the children go home at the end of the day.

It is a requirement from the DOES that all unnecessary clutter and furniture is removed from classrooms to facilitate as much distancing as is possible.

Children will be distanced from each other by at least 1 metre (2 if possible in the size of the room) and the nearest child will be 2 metres from the teacher.

Perspex screens have been provided for all staff.

Doors and windows

Where practical, all internal doors will be left open to minimize hand contact with common surfaces. Doors will be opened before the children enter the building and sanitised after they are in. Doors will be open during the day to ensure that classrooms are well ventilated, Windows will also be kept open as often as possible, and will be opened while children are taking breaks in the playground. All windows will be opened at the end of the day for a period of several hours regardless of the weather.

Cloakrooms and toilets and handwashing

Specific toilets have been assigned to each Bubble. Rooms 1, 6 and 7 have toilets in the class. Whichever toilets are being used, only one child will be in each toilet at a time and children will not be allowed to wait outside these toilets. The outer door will be propped open to minimize hand contact. Children will learn how to sanitize the door handles and the flush handle after using the toilet.

Room 2 will use the upper toilets on the old corridor. The middle cubicle will be locked. The children will not be allowed to wait in the toilet area or in the corridor.

Room 4 will use the toilet block at the end of the old corridor. The children will not be allowed to wait in the toilet or in the corridor.

Room 5 will use the main staff toilet by the staffroom.

The hall toilets will become the staff toilets

Whatever option is chosen, individual hygiene in these toilets will be absolutely critical.

Additional soap dispensers have been installed in the classrooms. Hot water was not deemed to be necessary but it is something we will be considering before the winter months.

Handwashing

There will be 6 formal handwashing times every day*

1 when children enter the class (they will have sanitised but will need to handwash too)*

2 Before eating at little break*

3 After little break*

4 Before eating at big break*

5 After eating at big break*

7 After using the toilet.

8 When hands are dirty

9 Before going home *

The Covid team will monitor this by checking in with classes in the early days.

A formal record of this process will be kept until it becomes a habit.

Parents may wish to send their own sanitiser in for their child. This will be allowed but this sanitiser must be in a spill proof bottle and must not be shared with other children.

Breaktimes

The DES guidelines state that the risk of transmission from contact with outside surfaces or play areas is low.

There will be 2 “big” and 2 “little” breaks in September, small break 1 will be from 10.50 to 11.00 (children eat from 10 35 -10 45) and small break 2 will be from 11.05 to 11.15 (children will eat from 10 50 to 11.00). Big break 1 will be from 12.30 to 1.00 and break 2 from 1.05 to 1.35. Rooms 1, 3 5 and 7 will go out together and Rooms 2, 4 and 6. This is to facilitate lining up in that yard. These can be rotated (i.e. the classes can go out on early break for a while and then go out on later break) but the classes groupings will not be changing. It will be important to keep this manageable and we can tweak it over time. The children will not mix on yard as each Bubble will have an area in the yard and that area will be rotated every few weeks. The children will go out and back in to class through the doors that they entered the school except for rooms 4 and 5 who will return through the yard door.

In September there will be no equipment of any kind in the yard but it is envisaged that, once the children are used to their very new routines, we could slowly introduce a sanitizing system so that some equipment, such as footballs, could be used.

The playground will be used (on a rota and by one Bubble only) on Tuesdays and Fridays. This is to allow the equipment time to self-sanitize as cleaning it properly would be impossible.

On very wet days SNAs can supervise a maximum of five rooms at breaktime, and could keep an eye on one class next door if needed. The class can be left 100% seated with a movie only and the door open. Children will be going outside unless the weather is truly awful.

Lunches

Parents must make sure that children bring their lunches to school as they will not be allowed to drop them in during the school day.  Children will not be allowed to share their food or drinks with other children. Children will eat their lunches at their desks, as per our usual practice. They will be encouraged to eat directly from their lunchbox rather than placing items on the table.

Parents will be encouraged to sanitise the lunchbox each evening.

Books, copies, pencils etc

Children will not bring these to school as they will be in the classroom for them and all items will be kept separate in baskets or cubicles.

Pupils will be encouraged to avoid behaviours that involve hand to mouth contact (putting pens/pencils in the mouth).

Uniforms/Tracksuits

There is no guidance or advice to say that school uniforms or tracksuits should be washed every day and this may not be practical for most families. However, parents will be asked to ensure that uniforms are washed more often than usual and if they are not dry there will be no issue if they wear ordinary clothes to school.

We will request that children have a set of waterproof clothing that they leave in school since they will be going out every day unless the weather is extreme.

Parents have been requested to provide warm clothes for their children since the school will be a lot cooler than normal.

Parents will be advised that school clothes should be taken off straight after the child arrives home from school for the day. They should not be worn for after-school facilities, shops, during after-school activities, etc.

It is not envisaged that the children will be able to hang their coats near each other so some of them will need to be kept on the back of the chairs until we get around to sorting more hooks. Coats will stay in the classrooms.

Parents will be encouraged to send in shoes with no laces, lunchboxes and flasks that can be opened by the child and coats that are easy to tie.

Curriculum

As a staff, we are very aware that the children have been away from school since March 12th. Half of our children are new to our school. School habits have been lost and a new, strict routine will be very tiring and challenging after being at home for months. We appreciate the time and effort that went into home learning, and we recognise the challenges that it presented for all families but we are also aware that the task of settling the children into school cannot be underestimated. A large amount of patience, kindness and understanding will be needed from everyone. It is likely to be most difficult for the children entering their second year as the change will be quite dramatic for them.

The DOES have suggested that all emphasis should be on Literacy, Numeracy, PE and SPHE for the first term of the school year.

Because we will be preparing for shut down from the day we open, and we could lose children and staff to self-isolation at any time, we will be working on as much blended learning as possible so that the children can continue on easily at home.

Literacy/Numeracy

Some of the children will need to be tested in Literacy as there was some turnover of children over the summer and we do not have a starting literacy level for some of the new children. There is a possibility that there will be more of a discrepancy than normal in the literacy levels of the children in each class. Children will not be regrouped for Maths this year.

Shared textbooks will need to be wiped with antiseptic wipes after use. Any concrete maths materials that are used will need to be sanitised after use.

We will explore the use of Bug Club for structured reading in school and at home.

We will explore an online Maths learning programme that the children can continue on with when/if we shut down again.

SPHE

Anxiety could be a very large issue in the children so it is envisaged that there will be a lot of work needed with the children on this. The introduction of all the protocols including regular handwashing, lining up and limited social interaction in the classes will take an enormous amount of time.

There are lovely materials available through NEPS “Returning to School after Covid 19 Closure”.

PE

Children are encouraged to be out in the air as often as possible, especially in the better months of the term. The school garden needs loads of work! Loads of exercise (in each individual Bubble, will be wonderful)

Children will not go swimming for the foreseeable future. Mini Movers will be cancelled. We will explore this later in the year.

Homework

It is envisaged that there will be no homework for at least the first month. This is because the children will not be encouraged to bring anything (other than a lunchbox and a coat) between school and home.

Notes will not be sent home, homework journals will not be used and parents will be communicated with by e mail.

Art

Where possible pupils will be encouraged to have their own individual art and equipment supplies.

Other activities

For the moment there should be no group art projects, no cooking or activities that involve the children working closely together. Children cannot share equipment in the classroom for the start of the school year until we get a tight system in place.

There will be no physical assembly of the children and staff but the idea of a virtual assembly will be explored.

Photocopying.

Any staff member who uses the photocopier should clean it down after use with the wipes provided. Only one person at a time in the photocopying room.

Laptops

There should not be used at the start of the year but we will consider safety around them, and their eventual use, later in the term.

Substitute Teachers/SNAs

A copy of the Covid-19 Response Plan will be provided to each substitute teacher/SNA. Substitutes will be required to complete a Return to the Workplace form before they enter a classroom and will be asked to confirm that they have engaged in online Induction training.

A list of available substitutes has been created. These will all need to be garda vetted.

All SNAs will be replaced for all absences.

The Deputy Principal is allowed 16 release days. These are substitutable.

Physical Education and P.E. Equipment

Physical Education lessons will take place outside when the weather allows. The hall cannot be used.

Staff members and pupils may take additional breaks outside during the school day.

Exiting the school

This will be entry to the school in reverse. Children will be brought to their line and supervised by their teacher. They will slowly be released out the gate (both sides will be open)

Since this will be a slower process than normal, pupils will gather in their lines from 2.30 and will be released over a period of time. We may even have to start a bit earlier for the first few days but when we get it going it will be faster.

All staff will be asked to fully vacate the building by 3.30pm to facilitate full ventilation and cleaning of the building. This will be recorded by the Covid team.

Cleaners will not start enter to start work until staff are gone home. This is because the cleaning staff may have been in other work environments before coming to the school.

Staff (some general points)

Because our children come from a wide catchment area and a lot travel to school on school transport, school staff will be required to wear a mask and an optional visor.

Online training videos have been sent to staff. These are mandatory viewing.

The staffroom and hall will be available to staff but no more than 4 can be seated at any one time. Remember that a distance of 2 meters is recommended for adults. The tables will be turned sideways so someone can sit at each end.

Anyone that wants a kettle for their room is urged to buy one and the cost will be refunded by the Board of Management.

No one will be allowed to use the crockery or cutlery in the staffroom (for the moment) as all staff must provide their own and bring them home to be cleaned.

The dishwasher will not be in use.

Staff CANNOT visit each other’s classrooms at any time for any reason.

All staff will be offered the flu vaccine.

A box of basic PPE and other equipment will be provided for staff before school starts.

Staff will be asked NOT to bring home any school material with them, that included children’s work.

It will be suggested that, if possible, staff have a type of “uniform” for the school day and to change straight after arriving home.

Staff should maintain a distance of 2 meters at all times especially when arriving at and leaving work.

Gloves are available for staff but should be used carefully and should never be a substitute for hand washing.

Staff Responsibilities

Staff have a statutory obligation to take reasonable care for their own health and safety and that of their colleagues and other parties. The cooperation and assistance of all staff is essential to reduce the risk of spread of COVID-19 and to protect health and safety as far as possible within the school. All staff have a key role to play. In this regard and in order to facilitate a safe return to work, these duties include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Adhere to the School COVID-19 Response Plan and the control measures

outlined.

  • Complete the RTW form before they return to work.
    • Must inform the principal if there are any other circumstances relating to COVID19, not included in the form, which may need to be disclosed to facilitate their safe return to the workplace.
    • Must complete COVID-19 Induction Training and any other training required prior to their return to school.
    • Must be aware of, and adhere to, good hygiene and respiratory etiquette practices.
    • Coordinate and work with their colleagues to ensure that physical distancing is maintained.
    • Make themselves aware of the symptoms of COVID-19 and monitor their own wellbeing.
    • Self-isolate at home and contact their GP promptly for further advice if they display any symptoms of COVID-19.
    • Not return to or attend school if they have symptoms of COVID-19 under any circumstances.
    • If they develop any symptoms of COVID-19 whilst within the school facility, they will adhere to the procedure outlined above.
    • Please note:
      · After entering the school, a person must use the hand sanitiser placed at
      the front door.
      · On leaving the building, staff must use wipes to wipe down the handle and are to use elbows to push open and close the door.
      · Used wipes to be placed in a special bin inside the door.
      · All staff must adhere to social distancing rules- keep a space of 2 metres (6.5 feet) between you and other people.
      · If returning equipment to a staff member said equipment should be wiped down before handover.
      · Staff are advised to remain in their own rooms to carry out any work they wish to. Movement throughout the school is to be kept to a minimum.
      · Doors are to remain open at all times so that you do not touch door handles. Windows should also be opened to allow ventilation.
      · Only four staff are allowed in the staffroom at any one time.
      · While in the staffroom staff should use their own cup and cutlery. They
      are to bring these home to wahs
      · Staff are to use hand sanitisers before using any equipment or touching
      any handles etc.
      · Staff are to wipe down their eating area with sanitiser.
      · Staff must maintain the two meter distance if you are queueing up to use the hot water/fridge or microwave etc.
      · Maintain distance if using the photocopier. Each person must wipe it down
      with sanitiser after using.
      As part of social distancing there is a ‘no handshaking policy’
      · avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth – if you touch your eyes, nose
      or mouth with your contaminated hands, you can transfer the virus from the surface.

Meetings

All large meetings will take place remotely but some smaller meetings (among staff) may be facilitatedin the school.

All meetings with people other than staff will be done remotely for the moment.

Children will not travel through the school for any reason other than going in and out and going to the toilet.

Parents will be encouraged to e mail Janette with queries rather than clogging up the phone.

Signage

St Oliver Plunkett NS will display signage, ordered specifically, with age appropriate key health messages outlining the signs and symptoms of COVID- 19 and to support good hand and respiratory hygiene.

St Oliver Plunkett NS will display the posters in prominent areas such as offices, corridors, staffroom area, classrooms and toilets.

Health and Safety Risk Assessment

COVID-19 represents a hazard in the context of health and safety in the school environment.  Members of the Board of St Oliver Plunkett NS will conduct a full risk assessment before the school opens and any necessary changes will be made before August 31st.

First Aid/Emergency Procedure

The standard First Aid/emergency procedure shall continue to apply in schools. Physical distancing may be very difficult to maintain at this time so goggles and aprons have been purchased to ensure safety. These can be used by staff at any time.

First aid supplies will be redistributed so that there is a small supply in each room and each individual teacher/SNA is responsible for their own Bubble. This will limit possible cross contamination.

Control Measures – To prevent Introduction and Spread of COVID-19 in Schools

Access to School/Contact Log and Communication

Access to the school building will be in line with agreed school procedures.

Visitors will be restricted to essential purposes only and will be limited to those who have obtained prior approval from the principal or deputy principal.

The Department of Education Inspectorate may also need to visit schools to support them as appropriate in the implementation of public health advice relating to creating a safe learning and working environment

The prompt identification and isolation of potentially infectious individuals is a crucial step in restricting the spread of the virus and protecting the health and safety of the individuals themselves and other staff, contractors and visitors at the workplace. A detailed sign in/sign out log of those entering the school facilities will be maintained. The school will maintain a log of staff and pupil contacts. This is a vital step in the control of the virus.

One of the key messages to manage the risks of COVID-19 is to do everything practical to avoid the introduction of COVID-19 into the school. If infection is not introduced it cannot be spread. The risk of spreading the infection once introduced exists in all interpersonal interactions; student-student, teacher-teacher and teacher-student and must be managed in all settings for all.

How to Minimise the Risk of Introduction of COVID-19 into Schools:

  • Probably the most important point is that staff will now have a responsibility to behave in accordance with the national regulations while not in work. Any setting that is deemed to be unsafe carries a risk of infecting an entire school community.
  • Staff and pupils that have symptoms must not attend school, must phone their doctor and to follow HSE guidance on self-isolation.
    • Staff and pupils must not attend school if they have been identified by the HSE as a contact for person with COVID-19 and must follow the HSE advice on restriction of movement;
    • A child who has allergies, or a condition with symptoms that may be similar to Covid 19, will have to have a doctor’s note explaining these symptoms and advice on how to recognise the symptoms of Covid 19 should they arise.
    • Staff and pupils that develop symptoms at school must bring this to the attention of a member of the Covid team immediately.
    • A protocol for managing a suspected case of COVID-19 in in place for the school. Put simply, a child will be escorted to the isolation room (library) and will be collected as soon as possible. Staff will contact their doctor and isolate themselves in the school immediately.
    • Everyone entering the school building needs to perform hand hygiene with a hand sanitizer. They will then be encouraged to sanitise before leaving.
    • Staff are requested NOT to leave the school during the school day for any reason other than an emergency.
    • Visitors to the school during the day will be by prior arrangement and will be received at a specific contact point;
    • Physical distancing (of 2m) will be maintained between staff and visitors where possible.
    • There will be no volunteers, work placements, visiting sports coaches, music teachers, school trips, visiting authors or other visitors until further notice. We will however, explore the reintroduction of as many of these vital parts of school life as soon as possible. So much will depend on the success of our initial procedures and, of course, the evolving nationwide picture.
    • Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. Children will need to be taught this clearly and explicitly. This means covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or your bent elbow when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately and safely into a nearby bin.
    • Staff and pupils will understand why hand hygiene is important as well as when and how to wash their hands. The school will promote good hygiene and display posters throughout the schools on how to wash your hands. The following should be explicitly taught to the children.  https://www2.hse.ie/wellbeing/how-to-wash-your-hands.html

·         Staff will need to Know the Symptoms of COVID-19 and children will need to be taught them. They are

  • High temperature
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or breathing difficulties
  • Loss of smell, of taste or distortion of taste

Hygiene and Cleaning in Schools

The school will be cleaned for 3 hours every day. Cleaning will be focus on the sanitation of frequently touched surfaces – door handles, hand rails, chairs/arm rests, communal eating areas, sink and toilet facilities.

All staff will have access to cleaning products and will be required to maintain cleanliness of their own personal work area. These cleaning products and PPE will be stored in the Principal’s office.

Staff will be required to thoroughly clean and disinfect their work area before and after use each day.

A hygiene committee, with a child from each class, will be formed.

Children will need to be shown how to clean their own desk area every day. They will also need to learn to sweep up as all the official cleaning time will be focused on disinfecting and sterilization of common areas.

The “dirty” bins will be covered bins and will be emptied every day. Recycling bins will be treated as normal.

 

 

Dealing with a Suspected Case of COVID-19

Staff or pupils will not attend school if displaying any symptoms of COVID-19. The following outlines how a school will deal with a suspected case that may arise in a school setting.

The designated isolation area is the school library in the school building If a staff member/pupil displays symptoms of COVID-19 while at school the following are the procedures to be implemented

  • If the person with the suspected case is a pupil, the parents/guardians will be contacted immediately.
  • Parents will have given a written assurance that an adult will be available to collect their child immediately.
  • A procedure will be in place to accompany the individual to the designated isolation area via the isolation route, keeping at least 2m away from the symptomatic person and also making sure that others maintain a distance of at least 2m from the symptomatic person at all times. Once the parent arrives to the gate the child will be escorted to the gate to be brought home. They will exit by their usual route.
  • Nobody will stay in the isolation with the person who is deemed to be at risk.
  • If it is not possible to maintain a distance of 2m a staff member caring for a pupil will wear a face covering or mask/goggles and an apron.
  • A mask will be provided for the person presenting with symptoms. He/she will wear the mask at all times.
  • No medical decisions will be made by staff. Symptoms means that the HSE will be contacted, the individual will be isolated and will exit the building as soon as possible.
  • Parents will be informed that there will have to be someone available to come and collect their child as soon as they are notified.
  • The individual will avoid touching people, surfaces and objects. Advice will be given to the person presenting with symptoms to cover their mouth and nose with the disposable tissue provided when they cough or sneeze and put the tissue in the waste bag provided.
  • Public transport of any kind will not be used;
  • If they are too unwell to go home or advice is required, contact 999 or 112 and inform them that the sick person is a Covid-19 suspect.
  • Careful records will need to be kept of each isolation incident.
  • The HSE will inform any staff/parents who have come into close contact with a diagnosed case via the contact tracing process. The HSE will contact all relevant persons where a diagnosis of COVID-19 is made. The instructions of the HSE will be followed and staff and pupil confidentiality is essential at all times.
  • Cleaning/Disinfecting rooms where a pupil/staff member with suspected COVID- 19 was present. The room will be cleaned as soon as practicably possible. Once the room is vacated the room will not be reused until it has been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected and all surfaces are dry.

 

Special Educational Needs

Additional considerations for those with Special Educational Needs that are relevant to our cohort of children.

  • The focus will be on emphasising that parents/guardians who notice signs, symptoms or changes which suggests illness/COVID-19 infection and where symptoms are present, their children will not attend school.
  • Children who are unable to wash their hands by themselves will be assisted to clean their hands using soap and water or a hand sanitizer (if their hands are visibly clean) as outlined previously.

COVID-19 related Absence Management

The management of a COVID-19 related absence will be managed in line with agreed procedures with the Department of Education. All absences will be entered on the OLCS system

Substitute cover will be provided for 1 EPV day to be taken in the first term. No decision has been made about the other 2 days. It is generally agreed that no more than 3 days will be possible this year. There is also a suggestion that those who have 5 days can carry 2 over into 21/22.

Employee Assistance and Wellbeing Programme

The Department recognises the need for school staff wellbeing and collective self- care. Support for school staff wellbeing will be provided by Department Support Services including the PDST and CSL, as well as by the HSE’s Health Promotion Team. An Occupational Health Strategy is in place as a supportive resource for staff in schools. The aim of the Occupational Health Strategy is to promote the health and wellbeing of employees in the workplace, with a strong focus on prevention. The Occupational Health Strategy comprises the Employee Assistance Service and the Occupational Health Service. The Employee Assistance Service (EAS) is provided by Spectrum Life under the logo of ‘Wellbeing Together: Folláinne Le Chéile’.

As part of the services provided by Spectrum Life a Mental Health Promotion Manager is available to develop and deliver evidence based mental health and wellbeing initiatives to reduce stigma and improve mental health literacy and to increase engagement with the service. They will also be providing a series of webinars and presentations to promote staff wellbeing in schools as schools reopen and during the upcoming school year.

APPENDIX 1

Lead Worker Representative

The COVID-19 Return to Work Safely Protocol provides for the appointment of a Lead Worker Representative (LWR) in each workplace. The LWR will work in collaboration with the employer to assist in the implementation of measures to prevent the spread of COVID -19 and monitor adherence to those measures and to be involved in communicating the health advice around COVID-19 in the workplace.

The purpose of this section is to set out the provisions in respect of the LWR in schools. The operation of these arrangements will be kept under review by the parties.

This document should be read in conjunction with:

 the COVID-19 Return to Work Safely Protocol;

 the Guidance and FAQs for Public Service Employers during COVID-19;

 COVID-19 Response Plan for Primary and Special Schools (available on the Department of Education website).

Collaborative Approach

Responsibility for the development and implementation of the COVID-19 Response Plan and the associated control measures lies primarily with the Board of Management/ Education and Training Board and school management.

Strong communication and a shared collaborative approach is key to protecting against the spread of COVID-19 in schools, and looking after the health, safety and wellbeing of staff and students. Adherence to the Return to Work Protocol will only be achieved if everyone has a shared responsibility in implementing the measures contained within the Protocol in their place of work.

If a staff member has any concerns or observations in relation to the COVID-19 Response Plan, control measures or the adherence to such measures by staff, students or others, they should contact the LWR who will engage with school management.

Role of the Lead Worker Representative/Covid 19 Response Team

In summary, the role of the LWR is to:

• Represent all staff in the workplace regardless of role, and be aware of specific issues that may arise in respect of different staff cohorts;

• Work collaboratively with school management to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the safety, health and welfare of employees in relation to COVID-19;

• Keep up to date with the latest COVID-19 public health advice;

• In conjunction with school management, promote good hygiene practices such as washing hands regularly and maintaining good respiratory etiquette along with maintaining social distancing in accordance with public health advice;

• Assist school management with the implementation of measures to suppress COVID-19 in the workplace in line with the Return to Work Safely Protocol and current public health advice;

• In conjunction with school management, monitor adherence to measures put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19;

• Conduct regular reviews of safety measures;

• Report any issues of concern immediately to school management and keep records of such issues and actions taken to rectify them;

• Consult with the school management on the school’s COVID-19 Response Plan in the event of someone developing COVID-19 while in school including the location of an isolation area and a safe route to that area;

• Following any incident assess with the school management any follow up action that is required;

• Consult with colleagues on matters relating to COVID-19 in the workplace;

• Make representations to school management on behalf of their colleagues on matters relating to COVID-19 in the workplace.

What can a Lead Worker Representative Do?

The LWR may consult with, and make representations to, school management on any issue of concern in relation to COVID-19. These include issues in relation to:

 Cleaning protocols and their implementation

 Physical Distancing

 Implementation of one-way systems in the school to ensure social distancing including when entering and exiting the school

 Hand Hygiene facilities including their location and whether they are stocked and maintained

 Hand sanitising

 Staff awareness around hand hygiene in the school

 Respiratory hygiene

 Personal Protective Equipment

 At Risk Groups

 Visitors/Contractors

Lead Worker Representative

Every school will appoint one Lead Worker Representative.

Deputy Lead Worker Representative/ Assistant Lead Worker Representative

In schools with less than 30 staff, a Deputy Lead Worker Representative will be appointed in addition to the LWR. The role of the Deputy LWR will be to deputise as LWR where the LWR is absent.

In schools with 30 or more staff and in all Special schools, an Assistant Lead Worker Representative will be appointed in addition to the LWR. The role of the Assistant LWR will be to:

 assist the LWR in their duties as set out above; and

 deputise as LWR where the LWR is absent

Selection of Lead Worker Representative/ Deputy LWR/ Assistant LWR

The school staff are entitled to select staff members for the LWR, Deputy LWR and Assistant LWR positions as appropriate. The LWR/ Deputy LWR/ Assistant LWR represents all staff in the workplace regardless of role and must be aware of specific issues that may arise in respect of different staff cohorts. In this regard, if a teacher is selected for the role of LWR, then the Deputy LWR/ Assistant LWR should be selected from the non-teaching staff where feasible and vice versa.

The process for the selection and appointment of the LWR/ Deputy LWR/ Assistant LWR as appropriate should be arrived at by consultation and consensus at school level, through the seeking of volunteers to act in that capacity. Where there is more than one volunteer, all school staff should vote to select the LWR/ Deputy LWR/ Assistant LWR.

The LWR/ Deputy LWR/ Assistant LWR will, following selection by the school staff, be formally appointed by the employer. LWR/ Deputy LWR/ Assistant LWR will be required

In summary, the role of the LWR is to:

 Represent all staff in the workplace regardless of role, and be aware of specific issues that may arise in respect of different staff cohorts;

 Work collaboratively with school management to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the safety, health and welfare of employees in relation to COVID-19;

 Keep up to date with the latest COVID-19 public health advice;

 In conjunction with school management, promote good hygiene practices such as washing hands regularly and maintaining good respiratory etiquette along with maintaining social distancing in accordance with public health advice;

 Assist school management with the implementation of measures to suppress COVID-19 in the workplace in line with the Return to Work Safely Protocol and current public health advice;

 In conjunction with school management, monitor adherence to measures put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19;

 Conduct regular reviews of safety measures;

 Report any issues of concern immediately to school management and keep records of such issues and actions taken to rectify them;

 Consult with the school management on the school’s COVID-19 Response Plan in the event of someone developing COVID-19 while in school including the location of an isolation area and a safe route to that area;

 Following any incident, assess with the school management any follow up action that is required;

 Consult with colleagues on matters relating to COVID-19 in the workplace;

 Make representations to school management on behalf of their colleagues on matters relating to COVID-19 in the workplace.

Every school will appoint one Lead Worker Representative.

In schools with less than 30 staff, a Deputy Lead Worker Representative will be appointed in addition to the LWR. The role of the Deputy LWR will be to deputise as LWR where the LWR is absent.

In schools with 30 or more staff and in all Special schools, an Assistant Lead Worker Representative will be appointed in addition to the LWR. The role of the Assistant LWR will be to:

 assist the LWR in their duties as set out above; and

 deputise as LWR where the LWR is absent

Supports for the Lead Worker Representative/ Deputy LWR/ Assistant LWR

The LWR/ Deputy LWR/ Assistant LWR shall be entitled to:

 Receive information and training in respect of their role [further detail to be provided];

 Be consulted by school management on the control measures being put in place by the school to minimise the risk of being exposed to COVID-19;

 Regular communication with school management on issues related to COVID-19;

 Be informed of changes in practice arising from COVID-19 response measures;

Where the LWR/ Assistant LWR is a teacher (including a postholder), the 10 Croke Park hours which can currently be used for planning on other than a whole school basis will be utilised by the LWR and Assistant LWR to carry out their duties in that role.

Where the LWR/ Assistant LWR is an SNA, 10 of the “72 hours” will be utilised by the LWR and Assistant LWR to carry out their duties in that role.

Where the LWR/ Assistant LWR is a Secretary or Caretaker, a re-prioritisation of duties by school management should be carried out to afford the staff member sufficient time to carry out their duties in that role.

8. Procedure for dealing with issues that arise

Where an issue of concern is identified by the LWR (or is notified to the LWR by a staff member), the LWR should bring this to the attention of the Principal. Action points for addressing the issue should where possible be agreed between the LWR and the Principal. Staff should be informed of the outcome.

If agreement cannot be reached, the LWR may notify the Board of Management (Chairperson of the BoM in the first instance)/ Education and Training Board head office of the issue. Action points for addressing the issue should where possible be agreed between the LWR and the BoM/ETB head office. Staff should be informed of the outcome.

Glossary of Terms

COVID-19 Response Plan: plan designed to support the staff and BOM/ ETB in putting measures in place that will prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the school environment. The plan details the policies and practices necessary for a school to meet the Return to Work Safely Protocol, the Department of Education plan for school reopening and to prevent the introduction and spread of COVID-19 in the school environment. COVID-19 Response Plans for Primary and Special Schools are available on the Department’s website.

Labour Employer Economic Forum (LEEF): the forum for high level dialogue between Government, Trade Union and Employer representatives on matters of strategic national importance – involves the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, Government & Employers.

Return to Work Protocol: national protocol designed to support employers and workers to put measures in place that will prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace.

Safety Representative: Section 25 of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 sets out the selection and role of the Safety Representative in the workplace. The rights of the Safety Representative are set out in legislation. (Note: A Safety Representative has rights and not duties under the 2005 Act). This role is separate to the LWR under COVID-19.

Checklist Lead Worker Representative

1. Have you agreed with your school to act as a Lead worker representative for your school? (

2. Have you been provided with information and training in relation to the role of lead worker representative?

3. Are you keeping up to date with the latest COVID-19 advice from Government?

4. Are you aware of the signs and symptoms of COVID-19?

5. Do you know how the virus is spread?

6. Do you know how to help prevent the spread of COVID-19?

7. Have you watched and do you understand the online Induction Training provided by the Department of Education before returning to school?

8. Are you helping in keeping your fellow workers up to date with the latest COVID-19 advice from Government?

9. Have you completed the COVID-19 return-to-work form and given it to your school? (

10. Are you aware of the control measures your school has put in place to minimise the risk of you and others being exposed to COVID-19?

11. Did your school consult with you when putting control measures in place?  

12. Have you a means of regular communication with the person with overall responsibility for the school COVID-19 plan?

13. Are you co-operating with your school to make sure these control measures are maintained?

14. Have you familiarised yourself with the cleaning requirements needed to help prevent cross contamination?

15. Have you been asked to walk around and check that the control measures are in place and are being maintained?

16. Are you reporting immediately to the person with overall responsibility for the school COVID-19 plan any problems, areas of non-compliance or defects that you see?

17. Are you keeping a record of any problems, areas of non-compliance or defects and what action was taken to remedy the issue?

18. Are you familiar with what to do in the event of someone developing the symptoms of COVID-19 while at school?

19. Are you co-operating with your school in identifying an isolation area and a safe route to that area?

20. Are you helping in the management of someone developing symptoms of COVID-19 while at school?

21. Once the affected person has left the school, are you helping in assessing what follow-up action is needed?

22. Are you helping in maintaining the contact log?

23. Have you been made aware of any changes to the emergency plans or first aid procedures for your school?

24. Are you making yourself available to fellow staff to listen to any COVID-19 control concerns or suggestions they may have?

25. Are you raising those control concerns or suggestions with your school and feeding back the response to the worker who raised the issue?

26. Are you aware of the availability of the Spectrum Life Wellbeing Together Programme?

APPENDIX 2

Arrangements for people who are diagnosed who have symptoms of Covid 19

Bring the person to the designated isolation area available in each school;

 Arrangements to contact parents/guardians in the event of a suspected case in a pupil/student;

 Facilitate the person remaining in isolation if they cannot go home immediately;

 Supporting the making of arrangements for transport home or if they are too unwell to go home to contact 999 or 112 to advise it is a COVID-19 suspected case;

 Carrying out an assessment of the incident to determine follow up actions; and

 Arrangements for the appropriate cleaning of the isolation and work areas.

 inform any staff/parents or students who come into close contact with a diagnosed case via the contact tracing process;

 contact all relevant persons where a diagnosis of COVID-19 is made; and

 advise on the appropriate action, on a case-by-case basis, that should be taken vis-à-vis the operation of the school.

Appendix 3

Checklist for dealing with a suspected case of COVID-19

Staff members will be required to manage a suspected case in line with the protocol and training.

A nominated member of the school management team will be responsible for ensuring that all aspects of the protocol to deal with suspected cases have been adhered to.

Isolation Area

1. Have you identified a place that can be used as an isolation area, preferably with a door that can close?

2. The isolation area does not have to be a separate room but if it is not a room it should be 2m away from others in the room.

3. Is the isolation area accessible, including to staff and pupils with disabilities?

4. Is the route to the isolation area accessible?

5. Have you a contingency plan for dealing with more than one suspected case of COVID-19?

6. Are the following available in the isolation area(s)

Masks

Gloves

Tissues

Disinfectant wipes

Bin

Waste bags

Isolating a Person

7. Are procedures in place to accompany the infected person to the isolation area, along the isolation route with physical distancing from them?

8. Are staff familiar with this procedure?

9. Have others been advised to maintain a distance of at least 2m from the affected person at all times?

10. Is there a disposable mask to wear for the affected person while in the common area and when exiting the building?

Arranging for the affected person to leave the school

11. Staff – have you established by asking them if the staff members feel well enough to travel home?

12. Pupil – have you immediately contacted their parents/guardians and arranged for them to collect their pupil? Under no circumstances can a pupil use public or school transport to travel home if they are a suspected case of COVID-19.

13. The affected person should be advised to avoid touching other people, surfaces and objects.

14. The affected person been advised to cover their mouth and nose with disposable tissue(s) when they cough or sneeze, and to put the tissue in the bin.

15. Has transport home or to an assessment centre been arranged if the affected person has been directed to go there by their GP?

16. Has the affected person been advised not to go to their GP’s surgery or any pharmacy or hospital?

17. Has the affected person been advised they must not use public transport?

18. Has the affected person been advised to continue wearing the face mask until the reach home?

Follow up

19. Have you carried out an assessment of the incident to identify any follow-up actions needed?

20. Are you available to provide advice and assistance if contacted by the HSE?

Cleaning

21. Have you taken the isolation area out-of-use until cleaned and disinfected?

22. Have you made arrangements to clean and disinfect any classroom space where the staff or pupils were located?

23. Have you arranged for cleaning and disinfection of the isolation area and any other areas involved, as soon as practical after the affected person has left the building?

24. Have the cleaners been trained in dealing with contaminated areas and supplied with the appropriate PPE? (It is intended to provide online training for cleaning staff. Appropriate PPE will be available to schools through the national procurement process which schools can access before reopening).

APPENDIX 4

Checklist for School Management

Composite Checklist for Schools

This checklist supports planning and preparation, control measures and induction needed to support a safe return to school for pupils, staff, parents and others.

For completion by the agreed person with overall responsibility of managing the implementation of the COVID-19 Response plan in line with the supports as agreed with Department of Education.

Planning and Systems

1. Is there a system in place to keep up to date with the latest advice from Government and Department of Education, to ensure that advice is made available in a timely manner to staff and pupils and to adjust your plans and procedures in line with that advice?

2. Have you prepared a school COVID-19 response plan and made it available to staff and pupils?

3. Have you a system in place to provide staff and pupils with information and guidance on the measures that have been put in place to help prevent the spread of the virus and what is expected of them?

4. Have you displayed the COVID-19 posters in suitable locations highlighting the signs and symptoms of COVID-19?

5. Have you told staff of the purpose of the COVID-19 contact log?

6. Have you a COVID-19 contact log in place to support HSE tracing efforts if required?

7. Have you informed staff on the measures and provided a system for them to raise issues or concerns and to have them responded to?

8. Have you reviewed and updated risk assessments in line with DES advice to take account of any controls to help prevent the spread of COVID-19?

9. Have you updated emergency plans, if necessary to take account of the COVID-19 response plan?

Staff

10. Have you made available to each staff member a COVID-19 return-to-work form to be completed and returned 3 days before they return to the workplace? (Template attached)

11. Are you aware of staff members who are at very high risk under the HSE guidance on people most at risk (HSE guidance on people most at-risk) and advised them of the DES agreed arrangements for management of those staff?

12. Have you advised staff and pupils they must stay at home if sick or if they have any symptoms of COVID-19?

13. Have you told staff and pupils what to do and what to expect if they start to develop symptoms of COVID-19 in school, including where the isolation area is?

14. Have you advised staff of the availability of the supports of the occupational health and wellbeing programme through Spectrum Life?

15. Has a lead worker representative been identified (in line with the process agreed with the DES and education partners) and detailed at Section 4.3 of this plan to help advise staff and to monitor compliance with COVID-19 control measures in the school and taken measures to ensure all staff know who the representative is?

Training and Induction

16. Have you advised staff to view the Department of Education’s training materials which are available online?

17. Have you taken the necessary steps to update your school induction / familiarisation training to include any additional information relating to COVID-19 for your school?

18. Have first aiders, if available, been given updated training on infection prevention and control re: hand hygiene and use of PPE as appropriate? (It is intended that training will be provided as part of the Department’s online training programme).

Buildings / Equipment

19. If you have mechanical ventilation does it need cleaning or maintenance before the school reopens?

20. Does your water system need flushing at outlets following low usage to prevent Legionnaire’s Disease?

21. Have you visually checked, or had someone check, all equipment in the school for signs of deterioration or damage before being used again?

22. Have you arranged for the school, including all equipment, desks, benches, doors and frequent touched surfaces points, to be cleaned before reopening?

Control Measures in place

Hand / respiratory hygiene

23. Have you accessed supplies of hand sanitisers and any necessary PPE equipment in line with the interim HPSC health guidance relating to the reopening of schools, from the national framework provided by the Department? (RFI published and framework available from early August).

24. Are there hand washing/hand sanitising stations in place to accommodate staff, pupils and visitors adhering to hand hygiene measures in accordance with Department guidance?

25. Have arrangements been made for staff and pupils to have regular access to hand-washing/hand sanitising facilities as appropriate?

26. Are hand sanitisers easily available and accessible for all staff, pupils and visitors – e.g. in each classroom and at entry and exit points to school buildings?

27. Have you made arrangements to ensure hand hygiene facilities are regularly checked and well-stocked?

28. Does the alcohol-based hand sanitiser have at least 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol as the active ingredient?

29. Have you informed staff about the importance of hand washing?

30. Have you arranged for staff to view how to wash their hands (with soap and water for at least 20 seconds) and dry them correctly through the use of the HSE video resource?

31. Have you shown staff and pupils how to use hand sanitiser correctly and where hand-sanitising stations are located?

32. Have you displayed posters on how to wash hands correctly in appropriate locations?

33. Have you told staff and pupils when they need to wash their hands or use hand sanitiser? This includes:

before and after eating and preparing food

after coughing or sneezing

after using the toilet

where hands are dirty

before and after wearing gloves

before and after being on public transport

before leaving home

when arriving/leaving the school /other sites

after touching potentially contaminated surfaces

if in contact with someone displaying any COVID-19 symptoms

34. Has you told staff and pupils of the importance of good respiratory measures to limit the spread of the virus?

avoid touching the face, eyes, nose and mouth

cover coughs and sneezes with an elbow or a tissue

dispose of tissues in a covered bin

Physical Distancing:

35. Have you identified all available school space to be used to maximise physical distancing?

36. Have you reviewed the templates provided by the Department of Education which show options for revised layout of school rooms to meet physical distancing requirements?

37. Have you arranged to revise the layout of the rooms and furniture as per the Department guidelines if necessary?

38. Have you arranged in each room that the teacher’s desk should be at least 1m and where possible 2m away from pupil desks?

39. Have you arranged in each room that pupils would be at least 1m away from each other?

40. Have you allocated work stations consistently to the same staff and children rather than having spaces that are shared?

41. Have you structured pupils and their teachers into Class Bubbles (i.e. a class grouping which stays apart from other classes as much as possible) and discrete groups or “Pods” within those class bubbles to the extent that this is practical?

42. If you have divided a class into Pods, have you arranged at least 1m distance between individual Pods within the class bubble and between individuals in the pod, whenever possible?

43. Have you taken steps to limit contact and sharing of common facilities between people in different Class Bubbles (and Pods within those class bubbles) as much as possible?

44. Have you arranged Pod sizes to be as small as it is likely to be reasonably practical in the specific classroom context?

45. Have you arranged to the greatest extent possible for pupils and teaching staff to be consistently in the same Class Bubbles acknowledging that this will not be possible at all times?

46. Have you arranged where possible that different class bubbles to have separate breaks and meal times or separate areas at break or meal times?

47. Have you made arrangements to limit interaction on arrival and departure from school and in other shared areas?

48. Have you encouraged walking or cycling to school as much as possible?

49. Have you made arrangements, in so far as practicable, to open additional access points to school to reduce congestion?

50. Can you provide a one system for entering and exiting the school, where practical?

51. Have you arranged for staff meetings to be held remotely or in small groups or in large spaces to facilitate physical distancing?

52. Have you a system to regularly remind staff and pupils to maintain physical distancing

53. Have you advised staff not to shake hands and to avoid any physical contact?

Visitors to Schools

54. Have you identified the activities that involve interacting with essential visitors to the school, made arrangements to minimise the number of such visitors and put in place measures to prevent physical contact, as far as possible?

55. Are there arrangements in place to inform essential visitors to the school of the measures to help prevent the spread of infection?

56. Have you a system in place for all visitors who do need to come to the school to make appointment, arrange to contact a central point and to record their visit using the contact tracing log?

APPENDIX 5

Contact Tracing Log Name of School School Contact Person
Address of School For Queries only: Phone No
Email
Name of Visitor Was the visit pre-arranged?  Yes o No o
Date of Visit __ __ / __ __ /________ Time entry/exit school   Exit from School __________ am o pm o
Visitor Status Contractor  Parent/Guardian  Other o Please complete: _______________________________________
Contact details of visitor Company Name (if applicable)
Address
Contact No. Email Address
Reason for Visit/Who visited and length of time.
 
   

 

APPENDIX 6

Checklist for Cleaning

1. Have you a system in place for checking and keeping up to date with the latest public health advice from Government and the Department of Education, to ensure that advice is made available in a timely manner in order to adjust your cleaning procedures in line with that advice?

2. Have you reviewed the HPSC interim health advice for the safe reopening of schools, in particular Section 5.6 Environmental Hygiene?

3. Have you explained the need for the enhanced cleaning regime to staff?

4. Are you aware that cleaning is best achieved using a general purpose detergent and warm water, clean cloths, mops and the mechanical action of wiping and cleaning, following by rinsing and drying?

5. Have you sufficient cleaning materials in place to support the enhanced cleaning regime?

6. Have you provided training for cleaning staff on the enhanced cleaning regime?

7. Have you made arrangements for the regular and safe emptying of bins?

8. Are you familiar with the cleaning options for school settings set out in the interim HPSC health advice for schools for surfaces, toilets, cleaning equipment, PPE and waste management?

9. Are you aware that each school setting should be cleaned once per day?

10. Have you provided cleaning materials to staff so that they can clean their own desk or immediate workspace?

11. Have you advised staff that they are responsible for cleaning personal items that have been brought to work and are likely to be handled at work or during breaks (for example, mobile phone and laptops) and to avoid leaving them down on communal surfaces or they will need to clean the surface after the personal item is removed?

12. Have you advised staff and pupils to avoid sharing items such as cups, bottles, cutlery, and pens?

13. Have you put in place a written cleaning schedule to be made available to cleaning staff including:

Items and areas to be cleaned

Frequency of cleaning

Materials to be used

Equipment to be used?

14. Details of how to clean following a suspected case of COVID-19 are at Section 7 of the Plan above

15. If disinfection of contaminated surfaces is required, is a system in place to do this following cleaning?

16. If cleaning staff have been instructed to wear gloves when cleaning are they aware of the need to wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water, both before and after wearing gloves?

17. Have you a system in place for the disposable of cleaning cloths and used wipes in a rubbish bag? Current HSE guidance recommends waste such as cleaning waste, tissues etc. from a person suspected of having COVID-19 should be double bagged and stored in a secure area for 72 hours before being presented for general waste collection.

18. Have you ensured there is a system in place to make sure reusable cleaning equipment including mop heads and non-disposable cloths are clean before re-use?

19. Have you ensured there is a system in place to ensure that equipment such as buckets are emptied and cleaned with a fresh solution of disinfectant before re-use?

APPENDIX 7

Protocol for the return to work

Before returning to the workplace, the staff must complete *a pre-return to
workplace form *at least 3 days in advance of the return.
This form seeks confirmation that each staff member, to the best of their
knowledge,
– has no symptoms of COVID-19,
-that the staff member is not self-isolating,
or is not awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test.
If a staff member answers “Yes” to any of them, you are strongly advised to
follow the medical advice
Sample Return to School Form
Do you have symptoms of cough, fever, high temperature, sore throat, runny
nose, breathlessness or flu like symptoms now or in the past 14 days? Yes/No
Have you been diagnosed with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 infection in
the last 14 days? Yes/No
Are you a close contact of a person who is a confirmed or suspected case of
COVID-19 in the past 14 days (i.e. less than 2m for more than 15 minutes accumulative in 1 day)? Yes/No
Have you been advised by a doctor to self-isolate at this time? Yes/No
Are there are any other circumstances relating to COVID-19, not included in
the form, which may need to be disclosed to allow their safe return to work.
Please complete and return the pre-return to work form before you return to
the school.
If you have any COVID-19 symptoms, you are advised to seek medical advice
and to stay out of work
until all symptoms have cleared following self-isolation.
Signed:  __________________
APPENDIX 8

Safety on the buses

Observing hygiene requirements will be a key priority and clear communication to all parents of children or to older students using school transport services will set out the following requirements for those travelling on school transport:

 Not to use school transport if they are displaying symptoms.

 To maintain physical distancing while waiting for transport.

 To always sit in pre-assigned seating and next to a sibling or child from their class group (this should be the same child at all times).

 To use hand sanitizer on boarding the bus.

 To observe respiratory etiquette at all times while waiting for and on-board transport services.

 To disembark the bus one by one in an orderly fashion; and

 With the exception of those children who for medical or special educational needs reasons are not in a position to wear a facemask or face covering, all other students travelling on the post-primary scheme are required to wear facemasks while waiting for and on-board transport services.

With regard to SEN Transport services, these health guidelines will also apply. Funding supports will be made available to schools for the provision of masks or visors to School Bus Escorts where required, bearing in mind the SEN needs of the child/children on the service, and where physical distancing cannot be maintained. These will be accessible to schools through the drawdown framework described earlier.

Bus Éireann, in consultation with the Department, is providing information and guidance for their own employees and to contractors contracted to operate on the School Transport Scheme to advise them of:

• Sanitisation and additional cleaning requirements.

• Use of Personal Protective Equipment for school transport staff.

• Measures to take if a child on a service becomes ill or is displaying symptoms while travelling.

• Return to work safely protocols.

Appendix 9

St Oliver Plunkett National School COVID-19 Policy Statement

St Oliver Plunkett National School is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace for all our staff and a safe learning environment for all our pupils. To ensure that, we have developed the following COVID-19 Response Plan. The BOM and all school staff are responsible for the implementation of this plan and a combined effort will help contain the spread of the virus. We will:

  • continue to monitor our COVID-19 response and amend this plan in consultation with our staff
    • provide up to date information to our staff and pupils on the Public Health advice issued by the HSE and Gov.ie
    • display information on the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and correct hand- washing techniques
    • agree with staff, a worker representative who is easily identifiable to carry out the role outlined in this plan
    • inform all staff and pupils of essential hygiene and respiratory etiquette and physical distancing requirements
    • adapt the school to facilitate physical distancing as appropriate in line with the guidance and direction of the Department of Education
    • keep a contact log to help with contact tracing
    • ensure staff engage with the induction / familiarisation briefing provided by the Department of Education
    • implement the agreed procedures to be followed in the event of someone showing symptoms of COVID-19 while at school
    • provide instructions for staff and pupils to follow if they develop signs and symptoms of COVID-19 during school time
    • implement cleaning in line with Department of Education advice

All school staff will be consulted on an ongoing basis and feedback from staff is encouraged on any concerns, issues or suggestions.

This can be done through the Lead Worker Representative(s)/Covid team, who will be supported in line with the agreement between the Department and education partners.

Signed:                                                                        Date_____________________

Admission/Enrolment Policy

Admission / Enrolment Policy 2021

St Oliver Plunkett Special School

Address:                   Alma Place

                                    Carrickbrennan Rd,

                                Monkstown, Co. Dublin

Telephone:              01 280 8824

Roll number:            19499T

School Patron:        Archbishop Diarmuid Martin

Staff:                          Administrative Principal

                                    7 Teachers

                                    5 Special Needs Assistants

                                    Secretary

                                    Caretaker

    Introduction

This Admission Policy complies with the requirements of the Education Act 1998, the Education (Admission to Schools) Act 2018 and the Equal Status Act 2000. In drafting this policy, the board of management of Saint Oliver Plunkett special primary school has consulted with school staff, the school patron and with parents of children attending the school.

The policy was approved by the school patron on 30th September 2020. It is published on the school’s website and will be made available in hardcopy, on request, to any person who requests it.

The relevant dates and timelines for St. Oliver Plunkett N.S. admission process are set out in the school’s annual admission notice which is published annually on the school’s website at least one week before the commencement of the admission process for the school year concerned.

1.    Characteristic spiritual objectives of the school

ST. Oliver Plunkett N.S. is a Catholic special educational and co-educational primary school with a Catholic Ethos under the patronage of the Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin.

“Catholic Ethos” in the context of a Catholic primary school means the ethos and characteristic spirit of the Roman Catholic Church, which aims at promoting:

  • the full and harmonious development of all aspects of the person of the pupil, including the intellectual, physical, cultural, moral and spiritual aspects; and
  • a living relationship with God and with other people; and
  • a philosophy of life inspired by belief in God and in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus; and
  • the formation of the pupils in the Catholic faith,

and which school provides religious education for the pupils in accordance with the doctrines, practices and traditions of the Roman Catholic Church, and/or such ethos and/or characteristic spirit as may be determined or interpreted from time to time by the Irish Episcopal Conference.

In accordance with S.15 (2) (b) of the Education Act, 1998 the Board of Management of St. Oliver Plunkett School shall uphold, and be accountable to the patron for so upholding, the characteristic spirit of the school as determined by the cultural, educational, moral, religious, social, linguistic and spiritual values and traditions which inform and are characteristic of the objectives and conduct of the school.

Mission Statement

•     We seek to assist all children to reach their full potential by creating a warm, caring, inclusive, yet highly structured, environment in which each child is treated as a unique individual with their own special talents.

•     We seek to improve the literacy levels of each child in the areas of reading accuracy, reading comprehension, spelling and writing to enable them to be better equipped to cope with the demands of mainstream education.

•     We endeavour to ensure that each child, and each member of staff, will have the opportunity to grow intellectually, spiritually and emotionally while a member of our school community.

Due consideration is taken with regard to the rights of the Patron as set out in the Education Act and the funding and resources available in the school.

St. Oliver Plunkett N.S. is a Catholic school but all children, of other religions and none, are welcome, in accordance with the Equal Status Act 2000.

2.    Admission Statement

St. Oliver Plunkett School supports the principals of:

Inclusiveness.

Equality of access and participation in the school.

Parental choice in relation to enrolment.

and will not discriminate in its admission of a student to the school on any of the following:

  • the gender ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned,
  • the civil status ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned,
  • the family status ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned,
  • the sexual orientation ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned,
  • the religion ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned,
  • the disability ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned,
  • the ground of race of the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned,
  • the Traveller community ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned, or
  • the ground that the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned has special educational needs

As per section 61 (3) of the Education Act 1998, ‘civil status ground’, ‘disability ground’, ‘discriminate’, ‘family status ground’, ‘gender ground’, ‘ground of race’, ‘religion ground’,  ‘sexual orientation ground’ and ‘Traveller community ground’ shall be construed in accordance with section 3 of the Equal Status Act 2000.

St. Oliver Plunkett School is a school whose objective is to provide education in an environment which promotes certain religious values and does not discriminate where it refuses to admit as a student a person who is not Roman Catholic and it is proved that the refusal is essential to maintain the ethos of the school.

3.    Special Educational School

    The Board of Management of St. Oliver Plunkett has regard for the Enrolment Criteria for Reading Schools.  These enrolment criteria and procedures are in accordance with the Education Act 1998 and the guidelines laid down by the Department of Education & Skills.                           The school depends on the grants and teacher resources, provided by the Department of Education & Skills and operates within the regulations laid down from time to time by the Department.  The school follows the curricular programmes prescribed by the Department of Education & Skills (except for the teaching of Irish) as well as a specialised literacy programme.   The Board of Management trusts that this policy will assist parents in relation to enrolment matters. Furthermore, the chairperson and the principal will be happy to clarify any further matters arising from this policy.   There are common procedures for enrolment / application to each of the three Reading Schools in Dublin.  These were agreed by the 3 schools, the DOES and NEPs. St Oliver Plunkett National School, Monkstown follows these common procedures.       COMMON ENROLMENT CRITERIA FOR READING SCHOOLS.   Assessment by a psychologist on a standardised test of intelligence should place general intellectual ability within the average range or above.   The assessment must not be more than two years old.   There should be an obvious discrepancy between general intellectual ability and performance on a standardised test of reading ability.   Discrepancy between verbal and not-verbal abilities, one of either the verbal or performance scores should be within the average range and the combined scores should indicate ability within the average range.   Performance in basic literacy skills as measured by a standardised test should be at a very low level compared to the vast majority of children in a similar age cohort.   The pupil should have completed second class in primary school or be at least eight years old and not more than twelve on enrolment.   Consideration should also be given to the child’s speaking, writing, spelling & comprehension skills as well as to his/her social and personal development.         Evidence of SLD, as defined by the Department of Education & Skills, is the primary difficulty of the child.   Placement in a reading school should be one of the options recommended by the psychologist.   In September, the principal will report to the Board of Management of Catherine McAuley N.S., St Oliver Plunkett N.S or St Roses N.S. that procedures for enrolment were followed.    

4.    Categories of Special Educational Needs catered for in the school

  St. Oliver Plunkett NS with the approval of the Minister for Education and Skills, is a school catering for children with Specific Reading Difficulties/Dyslexia. Children who attend have been assessed as having a Specific Learning Difficulty, (Dyslexia).   Because of the needs of the children, special emphasis is placed on the teaching of reading, writing, spelling and the development of good oral language skills.   Classes range from 3rd to 6th and enrolment is normally for two years.   Pupils must be eight years of age by 1st September in the year of enrolment or have completed second class.   There are seven classes in the school and the pupil teacher ratio is 9:1    

5.    Admission of Students

This school shall admit each student seeking admission except where –

  1. the school is oversubscribed (please see section 6 below for further details)
  • a parent of a student, when required by the principal in accordance with section 23(4) of the Education (Welfare) Act 2000, fails to confirm in writing that the code of behaviour of the school is acceptable to him or her and that he or she shall make all reasonable efforts to ensure compliance with such code by the student
  • a student does not have a Specific Reading difficulty.
  How to apply and the enrolment procedure   ·         An application consists of a copy of the child’s most recent educational psychological report which states that the psychologist recommends applying to the reading schools. The report can be sent by the parent or the school (with the permission of the parents). All contact details of school and parents should be contained in this application. Inaccurate or falsified information could result in the child not being offered a place.   ·         The closing date for receipt of applications will be 5.00pm on the day before the school closes for Christmas holidays. For example, applications for the school year 2021-2022 will close on December 21st, 2020 at 5.00pm. This will allow time to process the applications and to give parents adequate opportunity to find an alternative placement should the application be unsuccessful.   All applications received after that date will go forward for consideration for the following year.   When applications are received they are acknowledged, by letter, and placed in a file in the order in which they are received. They are date stamped and a cover sheet for each applicant is completed.   Each application will be considered under the criteria and a list of eligible children will be drawn up.   A list will be prepared of eligible children up to and including those on the 5th Percentile for Word Reading, and places will be offered in ascending order. Successful applicants will be informed in the first half of the second term.   The school principal of the school that the child is currently enrolled in will be informed of the intention to offer a place.   A pro forma report is sent to the school principal requesting a report on the child’s progress at school.   Further information may be requested from psychologist, school, parents/guardian and other relevant agencies.   The parents of successful applicants are sent a detailed brochure about the school and an appointment time to visit. They are not obliged to visit and places will not be withheld if parents do not attend these meetings. (Appendix 2)   Parents visit the school in a small group and meet with the principal and members of the BOM and Parent association. They also fill out relevant forms at this meeting. The children do not attend this meeting. (Appendix 3)   Parents will be offered a period of 10 school days to decide on accepting places in writing (Appendix 4).       Successful applicants are placed on the Aladdin School Management System). Relevant information will be forwarded to the POD (Primary On-line Database on enrolment.   The meetings with parents take place during the 2ndterm after places have been offered.   Places cannot be deferred to the following year(s)             Enrolment for a Third Year                                           Addendum May 2002   In certain circumstances a third year may be offered where:   Reading scores on standardised assessment tests are significantly below expected levels of attainment.   The child’s rate of progress across all literacy areas is very low. And the child’s scores at the end of year two, if he/she were to apply for initial placement, would meet the criteria for enrolment.   In addition to school administered standardised tests, the principal will test reading ability using the Wechsler Objective Reading Dimension Test for Teachers (WORD)   The child’s teacher, parents and principal have all been consulted and agree that a third year is necessary.   The BOM have received, through the principal, a written request from parents/guardians for their child to be considered for a third year.   If a child, through continuing illness or other medical reasons, has missed a lot of school, a request for a third year may be considered.   The names of possible third year candidates are sent to the principal by class teachers, after Christmas, and parents are invited to consider if they wish to make a formal application. These children will then be tested by the principal. These children will be tested in January.      

St. Oliver Plunkett National School is a Catholic school and may refuse to admit as a student a person who is not of the Catholic faith where it is proved that the refusal is essential to maintain the ethos of the school.

6.    Oversubscription

In the event that the school is oversubscribed, the school will, when deciding on applications for admission, apply the following selection criteria in the order listed below to those applications that are received within the timeline for receipt of applications as set out in the school’s annual admission notice:

  In the event of oversubscription on any of the percentile ranks, the children will be prioritised by age, with the older children being offered places first.   A waiting list is created. This list is numbered and parents are kept informed of where they are on the list. Initially this is communicated by telephone and as the situation becomes clearer they are informed in writing in the second half of term 2. Places only become available by a parent/guardian deciding not to send a child to the school.   Enrolment is strictly adhered to as detailed in the enrolment policy. There are almost always more candidates then places.   Please note the school does not operate on a “first come first served “basis.   In the event that there are two or more students tied for a place with matching selection criteria and percentile ranking, the children will be prioritised by age, with the older child being offered a place first.    

7.    What will not be considered for admission

In accordance with section 62(7) (e) of the Education Act, the school will not consider any of the following in deciding on applications for admission or when placing a student on a waiting list for admission to the school:

  a student’s prior attendance at a pre-school or pre-school service, including naíonraí,   the payment of fees or contributions (howsoever described) to the school;   the occupation, financial status, academic ability, skills or aptitude of a student’s parents;   a requirement that a student, or his or her parents, attend an interview, open day or other meeting as a condition of admission;   a student’s connection to the school by virtue of a member of his or her family attending or having previously attended the school;       the date and time on which an application for admission was received by the school,   This is subject to the application being received at any time during the period specified for receiving applications set out in the admission notice of the school for the school year concerned. This is also subject to the school making offers based on existing waiting lists.    

8.    Decisions on applications

As a general rule and in so far as practicable having regard to this admission policy, children will be enrolled on application, provided that the child meets with enrolment criteria for reading schools and there is space available.

All decisions on applications for admission to St. Oliver Plunkett will be based on the following:

  • Our school’s admission policy
  • The school’s annual admission notice (where applicable)
  • The information provided by the applicant in the school’s official application form received during the period specified in our annual admission notice for receiving applications

(Please see section 14 below in relation to applications received outside of the admissions period.)

Selection criteria that are not included in our school admission policy will not be used in the decision making on an application for a place in our school.

9.    Notifying applicants of decisions

Applicants will be informed in writing as to the decision of the school, within the timeline outlined in the annual admissions notice. (See section 5 enrolment procedures)

If a student is not offered a place in our school, the reasons why they were not offered a place will be communicated in writing to the applicant, including, where applicable, details of the student’s ranking against the selection criteria and details of the student’s place on the waiting list for the school year concerned.  

Applicants will be informed of the right to seek a review/right of appeal of the school’s decision (see Section 18 below for further details).

10.  Acceptance of an offer of a place by an applicant

In accepting an offer of admission from St. Oliver Plunkett you must indicate—

(i) whether or not you have accepted an offer of admission for another school or schools. If you have accepted such an offer, you must also provide details of the offer or offers concerned and

(ii) whether or not you have applied for and awaiting confirmation of an offer of admission from another school or schools, and if so, you must provide details of the other school or schools concerned.

11. Circumstances in which offers may not be made or may be withdrawn

An offer of admission may not be made or may be withdrawn by St. Oliver Plunkett where—

  • it is established that information contained in the application is false or misleading.
  • an applicant fails to confirm acceptance of an offer of admission on or before the date set out in the annual admission notice of the school.
  • the parent of a student, when required by the principal in accordance with section 23(4) of the Education (Welfare) Act 2000, fails to confirm in writing that the code of behaviour of the school is acceptable to him or her and that he or she shall make all reasonable efforts to ensure compliance with such code by the student; or
  • an applicant has failed to comply with the requirements of ‘acceptance of an offer’ as set out in section 10 above.
  • The psychological report does not place the child within the average range of ability.
  • As evidenced in the psychological assessment the SLD/Dyslexia is not the primary difficulty of the child.
  • The child’s performance in basic literacy skills as measured by a standardised test is above the level accepted for enrolment.
  • Children should be eight years old and not more than twelve on the first day of the school year.

Parents are informed that this decision of the Board of Management may be appealed under section 29 of the Education Act within 45 days of receipt of a refusal letter. See Section 18

12. Sharing of Data with other schools

Applicants should be aware that section 66(6) of the Education (Admission to Schools) Act 2018 allows for the sharing of certain information between schools in order to facilitate the efficient admission of students.

Section 66(6) allows a school to provide a patron or another board of management with a list of the students in relation to whom—

(i) an application for admission to the school has been received,

(ii) an offer of admission to the school has been made, or

(iii) an offer of admission to the school has been accepted.

The list may include any or all of the following:


(i) the date on which an application for admission was received by the school;

(ii) the date on which an offer of admission was made by the school;

(iii) the date on which an offer of admission was accepted by an applicant;

(iv) a student’s personal details including his or her name, address, date of birth and personal public service number (within the meaning of section 262 of the Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005).

  Provision of Key Information by Parents for admission of students   A Pupil Registration Form is provided to parents when children are being enrolled in the school.  This information includes:                     Pupil’s Name & Address Names & Address of Parents/Guardians Contact telephone numbers and telephone numbers in case of emergency Details of any medical conditions Previous schools attended and reasons for transfer and all details relevant for POD (Primary Online Database) Any other relevant information (including information as may be prescribed under the Education welfare Act (2000) or Education for People with Special Needs (2004)  

13. Waiting list in the event of oversubscription

In the event of there being more applications to the school year concerned than places available, a waiting list of students whose applications for admission to St. Oliver Plunkett School were unsuccessful due to the school being oversubscribed will be compiled and will remain valid for the school year in which admission is being sought.

Placement on the waiting list of St. Oliver Plunkett School is in the order of priority assigned to the students’ applications after the school has applied the selection criteria in accordance with this admission policy. 

Applicants whose applications are received after the closing date, outlined in the Admission Notice, will be placed at the end of the waiting list in order of the date of receipt of the application.

Offers of any subsequent places that become available for and during the school year in relation to which admission is being sought will be made to those students on the waiting list, in accordance with the order of priority in relation to which the students have been placed on the list.

14. Late Applications

All applications for admission received after the closing date as outlined in the annual admission notice will be considered and decided upon in accordance with our school’s admissions policy, the Education Admissions to School Act 2018 and any regulations made under that Act.

Late applicants will be notified of the decision in respect of their application no later than three weeks after the date on which the school received the application.  Late applicants will be considered for placement in the following school year.

15. Declaration in relation to the non-charging of Admission fees

The board of St. Oliver Plunkett or any persons acting on its behalf will not charge fees for or seek payment or contributions (howsoever described) as a condition of-

  • an application for admission of a student to the school, or
  • the admission or continued enrolment of a student in the school.

16.  Arrangements regarding students not attending religious instruction

  The following are the school’s arrangements for students, where the parents or in the case of the student who has reached the age of 18 years, the student , who has requested that the student attend the school without attending religious instruction in the school.  These arrangements will not result in a reduction in the school day of such students:   A written request for this arrangement should be made to the Principal of the school.  A meeting will then be arranged with the Parent/Guardians or the student, as the case may be, to discuss how the request may be accommodated by the school.    

 

17.  Reviews/appeals

Review of decisions by the board of Management

The parent of the student may request the board to review a decision to refuse admission. Such requests must be made in accordance with Section 29C of the Education Act 1998.   

The timeline within which such a review must be requested and the other requirements applicable to such reviews are set out in the procedures determined by the Minister under section 29B of the Education Act 1998 which are published on the website of the Department of Education and Skills.

The board will conduct such reviews in accordance with the requirements of the procedures determined under Section 29B and with section 29C of the Education Act 1998.

Note:  Where an applicant has been refused admission due to the school being oversubscribed, the applicant must request a review of that decision by the board of management prior to making an appeal under section 29 of the Education Act 1998.

Where an applicant has been refused admission due to a reason other than the school being oversubscribed, the applicant may request a review of that decision by the board of management prior to making an appeal under section 29 of the Education Act 1998.  

Right of appeal

Appeals should first be made to the Board of Management and following dissatisfaction with this decision a further appeal can be made to:

Section 29 Appeals Administration Unit           The Department of Educational

Friars Mill Road                                                Mullingar                                                         County Westmeath

Under Section 29 of the Education Act 1998, the parent of the student, or in the case of a student who has reached the age of 18 years, the student, may appeal a decision of this school to refuse admission. 

An appeal may be made under Section 29 (1) (c) (i) of the Education Act 1998 where the refusal to admit was due to the school being oversubscribed.

An appeal may be made under Section 29 (1) (c) (ii) of the Education Act 1998 where the refusal to admit was due a reason other than the school being oversubscribed.

Where an applicant has been refused admission due to the school being oversubscribed, the applicant must request a review of that decision by the board of management prior to making an appeal under section 29 of the Education Act 1998. (see Review of decisions by the Board of Management)

Where an applicant has been refused admission due to a reason other than the school being oversubscribed, the applicant may request a review of that decision by the board of management prior to making an appeal under section 29 of the Education Act 1998. (see Review of decisions by the Board of Management)

Appeals under Section 29 of the Education Act 1998 will be considered and determined by an independent appeals committee appointed by the Minister for Education and Skills.    

The timeline within which such an appeal must be made and the other requirements applicable to such appeals are set out in the procedures determined by the Minister under section 29B of the Education Act 1998 which are published on the website of the Department of Education and Skills.

This policy is ratified by the Board of Management and will be subject to periodic review.

Ratified on _____________________________________________  

Principal   _____________________________________________

Chairperson ___________________________________________