The Government has directed that all schools and colleges are to close from tomorrow. This and other new measures in relation to the COVID-19 situation take effect from 6pm today, 12 March 2020. We set out below some initial considerations for our Education Sector clients following this new direction from Government.

As you are aware, the Government has directed that all schools and colleges should close from tomorrow until the 29 March. In complying with the Government’s direction, we advise that school Principals, Boards of Management, Managers and Education and Training Boards maintain good, regular lines of communication with parents and staff.

Schools and colleges are being asked, where possible, to continue to plan and provide online lessons, while being conscious that not all students will have online access available or access may be reduced due to parents and others working from home.

Previous direction from the Department of Education and Skills to recognised Primary, Secondary, Community and Comprehensive Schools and ETBs (Circular letter 20/2020) was that in the event of a HSE directed school closure that teachers and SNAs would continue to be paid. We are not aware of any contrary direction from the Department in relation to this mandated closure. In relation to ancillary staff, previous direction from the Department (Circular letter 21/2020) to ETBs was that in the event of a HSE directed school closure that such staff would continue to be paid. Again, we are not aware of any contrary direction from the Department in relation to this closure. It is our view that Boards of Management (and Managers) of non-ETB schools should give consideration to doing the same.