Should Special Needs Workers be considered a Vaccine Priority?

Should Special Needs Workers be considered a Vaccine Priority?

Special school staff should have vaccine priority, says teachers’ group

Staff in special schools and classes for children with additional needs should be prioritized for Covid-19 vaccines as a matter of “extreme urgency”, the head of the Irish Primary Principals’ Network (IPPN) has said.


The group representing primary school principals said teachers in special schools were working in close contact with students “equivalent to frontline health staff.

Initially, the State’s vaccination programme was arranged to prioritise certain professions and those working or living in crowded conditions, following healthcare workers, the elderly and medically vulnerable.

However, the plan was redrawn to focuson an age-based approach, to vaccinate older cohorts down to younger groups, without regard to profession. The decision led to a backlash at the time from teaching unions, who had been promised school staff would be prioritised for inoculation.

Addressing the IPPN conference, Minister for Education Norma Foley said it was her “intention” to retain a number of supports introduced for schools during Covid-19 after the pandemic was over.

Here is what we think

Special Needs Education is overlooked every single day. It's terrible to hear that students and children who need the help the most, will be unable to get it until it is safe and secure for them to return.

With Special Needs Teachers not being a priority these children will be unable to return to a place they so desperately need. We will do our best to provide you with as much information as we can as the situation continues.