We welcome the plan recently announced by the Department of Education to address staff shortages in schools due to the increasing number of Covid cases.
The plan will see special education teachers providing cover in mainstream classrooms in situations where a substitute teacher cannot be found. The measure should only be used as a last resort when no other substitute cover is available. Schools will then be allowed to bank hours lost by moving special education teachers into mainstream classes. As a result, any hours of SET missed by the child, must be given back to the child.
This change of policy, which was announced by the Department on Monday, is in place until the midterm break in late February. The plan will not impact on children attending special classes as it relates to non-classroom special education teachers.
As far as we are aware, hours banked in this way should be used after mid-term and up until the summer holiday break. We have requested clarification on this point from the Department of Education, and will let you know if there is any change in this timeframe.