This evening we attended a useful meeting with Department of Education and Public Health Officials in relation to the concerning announcement of the exclusion of special classes and schools from changes to test and trace policy.
We are re-assured that this is in fact not the position of the Department. Special schools and classes will be advised on a case by case basis on the need for testing or isolation (over a reduced period than was previously required and without the need for test) and this will not be a presumption across the board. This means settings which do have medically vulnerable people or other issues which may increase risk can continue to be supported on a case by case basis by public health officials, with all children who can safely attend school without a test or isolation being permitted to do so.
We understand further written guidance will be available tomorrow and we will communicate this in due course. We will also review this closely to ensure that it presumes inclusion unless a very valid medical reason exists and operates on the basis of “the good outweighing the bad” which the HSE spoke of yesterday. Please do continue to share any concerns or experiences you have of this policy change in practise as you experience it next week