The trade union that represents thousands of teachers has written to the Department of Education and Skills seeking urgent assurances on behalf of its members teach at schools in Laois and elsewhere caught up in the Wester Building Systems controversy.
“On behalf of our members who are working in the affected schools, and the pupils attending them, we are extremely concerned at these developments – particularly coming so soon after the identification of fire safety issues in a number of recently built schools,” said the Irish Nation Teachers Organisation (INTO).
“We are also concerned at the Minister’s very recent comments in the Dáil regarding the schools having been 'built too quickly'.
“All teachers, and ancillary staff, are entitled to a place of a work which is safe. We called on the department to urgently provide an assurance in relation to the safety of our members at work,” said a statement.
It said the Department has agreed to ensure INTO was kept abreast of developments and convened a briefing session with key stakeholders to take place shortly.
Nearly 1,400 children in Laois and Offaly were greeted by steel fencing and scaffolding on their return to schools in Portlaoise and Portarlington after the mid-term break.
Gaelscoil Phortlaoise, Educate Together Portlaoise and Presentation Primary School Portarlington are among 22 schools that will require repairs.