Nationwide call for schools to donate stock of personal protective equipment to HSE

03 April 2020

Nationwide call for schools to donate stock of personal protective equipment to HSE

  • National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals has asked schools, where possible, to donate their science lab stock of personal protective equipment to the HSE.
  • Unused protective gear to be made available for front line services.
  • Clive Byrne, NAPD Director: “At this time of national crisis, when our medical professionals are putting themselves on the frontline to battle Covid-19, everyone must do their part to help where they can.”


The National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals (NAPD) has today, 03 April 2020, called on its members to donate their school’s surplus science laboratory personal protective equipment (PPE) to frontline services.

Significant stocks of PPE currently lie unused in secondary schools across the country and are now set to be made available to teams on the frontline.

The NAPD has issued a circular to its members, asking them to arrange for their school’s supplies of personal protective equipment to be transferred to local hospitals and nursing homes. Principals have been guided to contact their local Garda station, who have committed to collecting all donated equipment from schools and facilitating its delivery to the HSE.

School principals can also make supplies available through the Office of Government Procurement website, here.

Guidelines on the type of PPE suitable for donation have been provided by the HSE and included in the NAPD’s request to members. The list includes protective goggles, glasses, gloves and gowns.


Commenting on the move, Clive Byrne, NAPD Director said:

“Today we have called on all secondary schools to donate their science lab personal protective equipment for use in our hospitals and nursing homes across the country.

“At this time of national crisis, when our medical professionals are putting themselves on the frontline to battle Covid-19, everyone must do their part to help where they can.

“Many secondary school science labs have significant quantities of unused goggles, gloves and other forms of PPE. While schools are closed and there is an acute shortage of PPE across our health service, school leaders have felt it appropriate to add school stocks to the national supply.

“School leaders have been asked to co-ordinate the gathering, packing and provision of science lab PPE safely, following all HSE social distancing guidelines.

“We welcome the support of An Garda Síochána in facilitating the collection of PPE supplies from schools. We also welcome the guidance from the Department of Education on this matter.”




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Gavin Nugent | | 083 187 7794

Barry Murphy | | 087 266 9878

A Message from CSL – Centre for School Leadership

Getting Perspective in Challenging Times

   Thank You to School Leaders from CSL

CSL would like to express their respect and appreciation for the brave and courageous work of school leaders during the current covid-19 pandemic. Since March 12th, you as school leaders have had to call on all your inner strength and resources to ensure the ongoing needs of your school communities are met. You have managed to work collaboratively with your leadership teams, your teachers, support staff and school communities to ensure that continuity of teaching and learning is in place for your pupils, and to address the concerns of parents and families. In the past few weeks, you have experienced greater levels of stress and anxiety than ever before, your workload has increased significantly, and you have dealt with your professional challenges alongside concern for the health and safety of your own families and loved ones.

You have been asked to provide effective distance learning overnight and have been overwhelmed by advice on suitable IT platforms, resources and methods of communication. Teachers have expressed grave anxiety about the use of this new way of learning, and many others have shown impatience with this anxiety, being au fait with online learning themselves, and not understanding the challenges it presents for some. Parents have also expressed a desire for support and reassurance. They have requested reduced work, more specific work, more response from schools, less communication with schools, their understandable requests and anxieties depending on their own family circumstances.

You have expressed huge concern for disadvantaged pupils, those with SEN, those in homeless and direct provision accommodation, and those living in difficult family circumstances. You are concerned about anxiety levels, uncertainty, fear of illness, fear for the vulnerable, fear of the unknown and fear of a life and existence you have never experienced before. There is now an urgent need to get perspective so that you can remain calm, generous and positive about the future. This is no easy task but like many, many educational challenges you have encountered before, it is about leadership.

Leadership means dealing calmly with the storm. It is ‘a people issue’ (Smith and Riley, 2012:57) focusing on influencing the way others think, feel and behave. Leadership in crisis is particularly demanding. According to Elliott et al. (2005), the five common traits of a crisis include a wide range of stakeholders, time pressures and an urgent response, little if no warning, a high degree of ambiguity and a significant threat to the organisation’s goals. We can easily match each component with the challenges of the current state of affairs.

According to Sutherland (2016), the biggest factor in coping with crisis in schools is trust. Trust can make the difference between schools continuing to flourish in tough times or struggling under the strain. What we need now is trust between all members of school communities. Trust is needed between teachers and leaders, between schools and homes, between boards and staff members and maybe most importantly, school leaders need to trust themselves.



Doing your very best is more than good enough. Regarding the issue of other people, trusting your staff and school community to assist you is essential. Listening to concerns, offering reassurance, facilitating feedback from staff and parents, and living the ethos of your school will see you through. No more is expected of you than this. Take it easy on yourself, you have done enough for now. Think about how you can be supported. Make contact online or by phone with principal colleagues and consider beginning the CSL coaching support remotely. If you are newly appointed, remain in contact with your mentor. If you are a mentor, ring your mentee, simply for a chat.

To get perspective and to keep an eye on the bigger picture, take quiet time out for yourself to reflect on all the good aspects of your school community, and how you have achieved so much together in the past. Reflect on the celebration of normality that will take place in the future when schools return, and your school community is together physically again. Reflect on all the people you have in your life who are dear to you. Talk, chat, use your phone and devices to keep communicating with them. Limit your exposure to social media and the news, get plenty of exercise and enjoy the simple pleasures when you have the time. Sustain yourself through this storm to enjoy the calm that awaits us all.  If you need to talk, send an email to the CSL Team to

‘Never cut a tree down in the wintertime. Never make a negative decision in the low time. Never make your most important decisions when you are in your worst moods. Wait. Be patient. The storm will pass. The spring will come’.

Robert H. Schuller


Baron, S.Harris, K.Elliott, D. (2005), ‘Crisis management and services marketing’, in Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 19, No. 5, pp. 336-345. Available at:

Smith, L. and Riley, D. (2012) ‘School leadership in times of crisis’, in School Leadership & Management, vol.32, no.1, pp. 57-71. Available at: DOI: 10.1080/13632434.2011.614941

Sutherland, I. (2017) ‘Learning and growing: trust, leadership, and response to crisis’, in Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 1, pp. 2-17. Available at:

SNA Allocations

Notification to School Management Authorities

Deferral to 2021/22 of the full implementation of the new frontloading model for the allocation of Special Needs Assistants for students in mainstream classes in primary and post-primary schools

In light of the ongoing Covid-19 crisis the new Frontloaded Allocation Model for Special Needs Assistants, for students in mainstream classes in primary and post -primary schools has been deferred until the beginning of the 2021/22 school year.

The regional information and briefing sessions that the Department intended to run before the end of this school year will also be deferred.

These sessions are key to helping school leaders and teachers in their planning for the introduction of the new model and their engagement with parents. They will be rescheduled for an appropriate future date.

It is now too late to run the traditional applications-based process for the allocation of the SNAs for 2020/21 school year. Special arrangements are being put in place that will facilitate continuity and certainty for schools, SNAs and parents.

The following arrangements will apply for the school year 2020/2021 :

  • All mainstream class SNA allocations that apply currently to schools will be frozen and will automatically rollover into the 2020/21 school year.
  • No school will receive an allocation less than what they have currently and existing SNAs currently in mainstream settings can continue in post for the next school year in the normal way.
  • Applications for additional SNA support submitted to the NCSE prior to 3 April 2020 will be processed, and determinations made, under the current scheme. However, no further applications for this school year can be accepted.

New Circular to be published week commencing 20 April:

A new circular covering the allocation of SNAs for 2020/21 will issue to schools during the week beginning 20 April 2020. The circular will outline:

  • the detail of the rollover of SNA mainstream allocations,
  • the procedures for dealing with new/additional care needs presenting in schools, appeals

SNA allocations for special classes and special schools are not affected by this arrangement.

The new circular will also outline the next steps for the full implementation of the Frontloading Model from September 2021.

Study Skills while working at Home

Colleagues this is a useful set of slides for students working from home.

Thank you to Teresa Mary Hand-Campbell  a colleague we collaborate with our dealings with Legal Island

Please click on the link below to download the document.


Study Skills while working at Home

Protecting Yourself when Home Working during COVID-19 – NEW eLearning course just launched


The unprecedented situation that COVID-19 has created in Ireland has meant more employees than ever have been asked to work from home. Many employees will never have experienced working outside of the office and these employees should know how to protect themselves from injury and ill health during this time.

The Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005, places certain legal duties on employers and employees to ensure a good standard of health and safety in the workplace. This includes when the employee is working from home.

With this in mind, our team at Legal Island have launched a brand new Protecting Yourself when Home Working in Ireland eLearning course.

What does this course cover?

This course was designed specifically for organisations who have employees working from home.

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+ How to work together to protect each other

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The standard rate of this course is €40 per staff member, however, given these exceptional times, we have reduced the price of this course to €10 per staff member (for a limited time only).


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Minister McHugh announces deferral of new allocation model for Special Needs Assistants

Minister McHugh announces deferral of new allocation model for Special Needs Assistants

The Minister for Education & Skills Joe McHugh TD has today (Thursday 2 April 2020) announced that the planned new allocation model for Special Needs Assistants has been deferred for one year.

The frontloading model for primary and post-primary schools is now planned to be in place for September 2021.

Minister McHugh said: “The emergency response to Covid-19 has had a huge impact on everyone and it has required a huge response from the education sector.

“It is important that we can give schools and families of children with additional needs clarity and certainty on the resources and supports that will be available from September.

“SNAs are a vital part of that. They bring a huge wealth of experience and skills and qualities to caring for children in our schools.

“As part of the decision to defer the new allocation model, I am also confirming that no school will receive a lower allocation of SNA support for September 2020 than they currently have. That means that SNAs who are currently employed will have jobs in the next school year.

“And if schools identify that additional SNA support is needed for children in mainstream classes which cannot be met from their existing allocation, they will be able to apply by email for their allocation to be reviewed.

“A diagnosis of a disability, or a psychological or other professional report, will not be necessary for this process. Rather, other forms of evidence, information or documentation will be used to support such applications.”

Regional information sessions planned for the coming weeks to allow for better understanding of the new model and how it will help students with special needs will now not take place.

A circular will issue to schools in the coming weeks with information on the interim arrangements for the 2020/21 school year. 


How business can help with supplies and services to respond to COVID-19

What it is

Since COVID-19 arrived in Ireland, businesses have been contacting government bodies to offer to supply or donate goods and services. We are creating a central database of these offers on behalf of the whole of the public service, including the HSE.

Goods and services required by the health services are currently a priority but this may change as the situation develops.

If your business is already supplying goods or services to the government, you do not need to do anything as normal arrangements will apply.

Anything you donate or sell as part of this fight against COVID-19 will not be considered in any future government procurement.



Coronavirus Content Unlocked – Legal Island

We understand that the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has presented a lot of challenges to both employers and employees across Ireland and there is a lot of uncertainty in the air.


We have made the decision to unlock all COVID-19 articles on the Irish Employment Law Hub, making it easier for you and your colleagues to keep up-to-date on the latest COVID-19 employment developments.

“The Legal Island Hub is always great but during the Coronavirus it has been invaluable.” – Gillian B.


You can find all COVID-19 related content in our new Coronavirus/COVID-19 section on the Hub, which keeps everything from articles to webinar recordings in one convenient place.


Tip: we suggest bookmarking this page, making it easier for you to access going forward.

Click here to discover the latest in Coronavirus/COVID-19:

Information Notice on Administration Issues to all schools


Please see attached notice to inform and advise all schools on current administrative issues.


Information re School Administration 1 April 2020