'We hope this does not happen again': Cork school able to reopen all classes after substitute cover found 

The senior infants children’s classes could not go ahead when a substitute could not be found yesterday to cover for a sick teacher. 
'We hope this does not happen again': Cork school able to reopen all classes after substitute cover found 

Ms Golden said substitute teachers were always difficult to find but this issue has been exacerbated by the Covid situation.

THE senior infants class which could not attend a Cork school yesterday because a substitute teacher could not be found has returned to school today.

Trina Golden of the Owenabue Educate Together School in Carrigaline said the situation at the school had returned to normal this morning after substitute teachers were found for today and tomorrow for the class of 12 pupils.

Principal of the Owenabue Educate Together school in Carrigaline, Trina Golden.
Principal of the Owenabue Educate Together school in Carrigaline, Trina Golden.

“The class is back today and we hope this does not happen again," she said. 

"But the point is that it could happen again to some school.” 

A decision had to be made at 8.15am yesterday that the senior infants children’s classes could not go ahead when a substitute could not be found to cover for a sick teacher at the school.

The majority of the children were at home but a small number were already in school attending a breakfast club. Their parents had to be contacted to come and collect them, with some parents have to leave work.

Covid exacerbated existing issues

Ms Golden said the substitute teachers were always difficult to find but this issue has been exacerbated by the Covid situation.

A Department of Education spokeswoman told The Echo that the Department has 'engaged with the education stakeholders on the issues raised about the current difficulty in accessing substitutes for teacher absences'. 

"Among other measures, a review of the supply panels has taken place and approximately 100 additional teachers are being added to existing/new areas where significant challenges have been demonstrated in sourcing substitution," they said. £Posts have been allocated to the base schools to allow arrangements for the recruitment of additional staff immediately.

“In addition to the expansion of the supply panels, schools have been asked to combine their allocation of principal release days into clusters so as to form a full-time fixed-term post to cover each school principal’s release days.”

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