Cork school lends support to campaign to vaccinate SNAs

Cork school lends support to campaign to vaccinate SNAs

Coláiste Éamann Rís principal Aaron Wolfe said SNAs are frontline workers who are in extremely close proximity to the children they work with, and while teachers can social distance in a classroom, SNAs cannot. Photo: Leon Farrell/Photocall Irelan

A Cork secondary school has lent its support to a national campaign calling for special needs assistants (SNAs) to receive the Covid-19 vaccine.

Principal Aaron Wolfe at Colaiste Eamann Ris, Cork. Pic Larry Cummins
Principal Aaron Wolfe at Colaiste Eamann Ris, Cork. Pic Larry Cummins

Coláiste Éamann Rís principal Aaron Wolfe said SNAs are frontline workers who are in extremely close proximity to the children they work with, and while teachers can social distance in a classroom, SNAs cannot.

“A lot of the children SNAs work with don’t understand the Covid situation and would be able to comprehend why the SNA might want to keep a distance from them. It is a very complex situation.” 

Mr Wolfe said with the Government focused on reopening schools, SNAs provide a vital service.

“I’m not saying SNAs should skip the queue but they are doing risky work in intimate settings. They work very closely with children.” 

His comments come as the recently established Special Needs Assistants Advocacy Group (SNAAG) held a virtual protest at the weekend calling for SNAs to receive the Covid-19 vaccine. 

The advocacy group, which has only been set up a few weeks, hopes to bring parents and school staff together to ensure the best solutions are reached to benefit the children. 

SNAAG spokesperson for SNAAG,  Darren Roche said SNAs should be priority vaccinated in order to ensure the schools are a safe environment for all.

It is not just SNAs that Mr Roche said he wanted to see prioritised for the vaccine. 

The SNAAG spokesperson said he and the SNAAG organisation were of the opinion that all school staff should be prioritised in the vaccination to some degree as opposed to the age model that has been announced.

More in this section

Sponsored Content

summersoaplogosml

Catch up on the latest episode of Annie May and the Hit Brigade written and read by  Mahito Indi Henderson.

Add Echolive.ie to your home screen - easy access to Cork news, views, sport and more