O’Dea welcomes new Scheme to Provide Targeted Additional Teaching Supports For Limerick Students Following Covid-19 School Closures

Willie O'Dea TD

WILLIE O’Dea TD has welcomed the government decision to implement a new Covid Learning and Supports Scheme (CLASS) that will mitigate the impact to students’ learning and wellbeing of Covid-19 closures and restrictions.


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This fund will bring to €102.6 million the additional supports put in place in 2021 to mitigate learning loss and support wellbeing.


Willie O’Dea TD said, “Under the scheme, every school in Limerick will receive an allocation of additional teaching hours, which they may use in accordance with the needs of their students. This will enable schools to identify students most at risk of learning loss arising from the recent disrupted school experience and put in place specific targeted teaching supports to meet these students’ needs.


“Schools will receive their additional teaching allocations based on the number of pupils enrolled, with enhanced allocations being provided for special schools and schools in the Department’s Delivering Equality of Opportunity in School (DEIS) scheme.”


The CLASS programme also provides for shared learning opportunities between schools to ensure that good practice in meeting students’ needs and mitigating learning loss is shared and replicated. The Department will also ensure that research is undertaken both into the impacts of the disruption to learning and the student experience of Covid-19 across a range of areas, and on the impact of the mitigation measures undertaken under this programme.


Deputy O’Dea continued, “The Government is acutely aware of how much disruption Covid-19 caused to in-school teaching and learning during 2020 and 2021, and the impact on our students at primary and post-primary level.


“We have already allocated €50 million in targeted supports to the students most impacted, providing a supplementary programme at Easter and a greatly enhanced summer programme that targeted students at risk of educational disadvantage and students with special educational needs.


“Now the Government has approved additional targeted funding of €52.6 million for the coming school year for the CLASS programme. This means every school will get additional teaching hours, to support the students that need it most in a targeted way.


“Schools will be able to commence using these hours in October, allowing them a period from the start of the school year to settle students in, review and assess learning needs and devise appropriate support plans for the use of the hours available to them.