Important - Possible school closure from November 7th
Withdrawal from Supervision and Substitution
- The Board of Management of St Mary’s Secondary School has received notification from the Association of Secondary School Teachers (ASTI) that its members will withdraw from supervision and substitution cover from Monday, November 7th. All ASTI members, including the principal and deputy principal, are subject to this union directive. This notification is subject to on-going discussions between the ASTI and the Department of Education and Skills.
- The effect of this directive is that ASTI members will not be available to carry out essential supervision duties before, during or at the end of the school day. In addition, they will not be available to substitute for colleagues. Without this support or involvement in rostering or management of supervisors, the ability to set up and deliver workable contingency arrangements will therefore be severely limited.
- The Board of Management has decided that, because of the withdrawal from Supervision and Substitution duties, the school will not be on a position to re-open for students on November 7th after the mid-term break as in such circumstances, it will not be able to discharge its responsibilities with regard to the privacy, welfare, health and safety of students in its charge or of other users of the school.
- The decision has been made following meetings by St. Mary’s Board of Management on Thursday 20th October and Tuesday 25th October resp. which reviewed the feasibility of opening after the mid-term break. Taking account of the responsibilities under current health and safety and child protection legislation, the Board of Management completed a comprehensive risk assessment of the implications of opening the school on November 7th without a) availability of appropriately trained and vetted supervisors and, b) without a recognised system to oversee the supervision and substitution under the direction of the principal and deputy principal.
- The school is therefore not in a position to reopen for students after the mid-term break and until such a time as a full Supervision and substitution scheme is operational or there is sufficient progress/resolution of the discussions between the Department of Education and Skills and the ASTI.
Rob Halford, Principal and Secretary to the Board of Management 27th Oct 2016