fbpx

Know Your Rights – May 2020

Know your rights: What are the rules about face coverings?

 Wearing a face covering – not a face mask – is recommended for situations where social distancing is difficult, for example, in public indoor areas or on busy public transport.

A face covering is not a medical mask, which should be reserved for healthcare professionals. It is material (usually cotton or linen) that you wear across your nose and mouth using elastic or string. You can buy a face covering or make a face covering.

It is not compulsory to wear a face covering in Ireland and they are not suitable for some people, including for children under 13.

How do I use a face covering?

You should always wash your hands before putting on your face covering. Avoid touching it while you are wearing it (and if you accidently touch the front, wash your hands straight away).

Make sure that the material fully covers your nose and mouth. You should check that it is tied securely and fits snugly against the side of your face.

Keep your spare face coverings in a clean, waterproof bag (such as a ziplock bag). You should carry a similar bag for used face coverings. Label these bags clearly so that you do not mix them up.

If you are a smoker, do not lift up your face covering to smoke. Instead, remove it completely and place it in your ‘used’ ziplock bag.

When you are removing your face covering, do so using the strings at the back. Do not touch the front.

If your face covering is disposable, throw it in a bin immediately after use. If it is re-usable, you should wash it in hot water (60 degrees or hotter) with detergent.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Citizens Information Centres are offering a phone and email service. You can access information and advice from:

  • Bray CIC on 0761 07 6780 Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm
  • Email Bray CIC at bray@citinfo.ie – anytime

Alternatively contact:

  • The Citizens Information Phone Service: 0761 07 4000, Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm
  • Our email channel: email to covid19@citinfo.ie, include your telephone number and an information officer will call you back within 2 working days.

Know your rights: How exactly will grades be calculated for Leaving Certificate 2020?

In 2020, you can opt to have your grades based on a new calculated grades system. A calculated grade is based on an estimated mark that you would get in a subject in the Leaving Certificate examination in normal circumstances.

You will be awarded a State Certificate of Calculated Grades for each subject in the Leaving Certificate.  This has the same status as the Leaving Certificates in previous years. You can still opt to sit the conventional written Leaving Certificate exam at a later date when it’s possible.

There are 4 key steps to working out a calculated grade:

Step 1: Your teacher will estimate the mark you would likely have got in the Leaving Certificate subject under normal conditions. They will use a range of records and evidence such as your classwork, homework, class assessments, Christmas and summer exams, mock exams and coursework.

Your teacher will also estimate your expected mark in the oral and practical performance tests.  Previously, the Department of Education had awarded all students full marks for this option but this no longer applies.

You will be given a single overall estimated percentage mark in the subject. Your teacher will then estimate where you rank in relation to other students in your class.

Step 2: All the subject teachers in your school will then review the marks and rank all the school’s students for that subject. Your teacher will finalise your estimated percentage marks and ranking. The deputy principal will review the ranking with your teacher if they are the only teacher of the subject.

Step 3: Your school principal will review the marks and rankings and check that the process has been fair before sending the final estimated marks and class rankings to the Department.

Step 4: The Department will apply a standardisation process. This takes the estimated marks from each school and adjusts them to bring them into the rankings for the expected grades for that school based on the historical information held by the State Examinations Commission.

Your estimated marks for your subject will then be converted into your final calculated grade.

You can appeal your results. This will check that the correct information has been used and the process has been fair. It cannot review the percentage mark from your teacher. You will still have the option to sit the written exam. If you get a higher grade in the exam than your calculated grade, your results for the subject will be amended.

You cannot discuss the estimated marks with your teacher or any school staff.

Read more in our document about calculated grades and the Department of Education’s FAQs.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Citizens Information Centres are offering a phone and email service. You can access information and advice from:

  • Bray CIC on 0761 07 6780 Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm
  • Email Bray CIC at bray@citinfo.ie – anytime

Alternatively contact:

  • The Citizens Information Phone Service: 0761 07 4000, Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm
  • Our email channel: email to covid19@citinfo.ie, include your telephone number and an information officer will call you back within 2 working days.

Know your rights: Returning to work

I’m wondering when I can return to work? Where can I get information about the rules that will apply?

The Government has set out a Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business (pdf) to ease COVID-19 restrictions in a phased manner from 18 May 2020.

The plan sets out five stages for unlocking restrictions, at 3-week intervals. These dates may change depending on public health advice.

During phase 1 (18 May 2020) you may return to your workplace if you work mainly outdoors. This may include construction workers, gardener and some retail jobs where the shop floor is outdoors (for example, garden centres).

During phase 2 (8 June 2020) you may be able to return to your workplace if you work more than at least 2 metres from other workers, or mainly work alone and you cannot work remotely.

In phase 3 (29 June 2020) some businesses may reopen where remote work is not possible, provided they can maintain social distancing including:

  • Restaurants and cafes
  • Non-essential shops
  • Organisations with low levels of interaction between employees

From phase 4 (20 July 2020) workplaces where remote working is not possible may be able to reopen where social distancing can be maintained. This could involve introducing shift work or staggered opening hours to keep staff apart. These restrictions will be gradually lifted so that workplaces where contact is unavoidable (for example hairdressers) may be able to reopen.

From phase 5 (10 August 2020) all sectors may gradually return to work. This may be staggered and restrictions will be lifted bit by bit.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Citizens Information Centres are offering a phone and email service. You can access information and advice from:

  • Bray CIC on 0761 07 6780 Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm
  • Email Bray CIC at bray@citinfo.ie – anytime

Alternatively contact:

  • The Citizens Information Phone Service: 0761 07 4000, Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm
  • Our email channel: email to covid19@citinfo.ie, include your telephone number and an information officer will call you back within 2 working days.

Know your rights: Teaching and learning at home

I am trying to teach my 6-year-old at home during the COVID-19 public health emergency. What resources are available to support parents?

First of all, make sure you keep in touch with your child’s school and teacher. Your role is to support your child’s schoolwork, your school should give you help and guidance and your child’s class teacher should keep in contact with the children in the class and assign them work to do. Your child’s teacher should also give feedback on schoolwork to ensure that students stay motivated and focused while working at home.

The Department of Education and Skills has useful tips for parents:  

  • Remember to take breaks. Break up the schoolwork with physical and social activities.
  • Don’t insist on sticking to a full schoolwork timetable. You need to be flexible and sensible.  What’s important is that your child makes a good effort each day to complete some schoolwork.
  • Mix it up. Learning isn’t just about sitting with a pen and paper at a desk. Your child can learn from baking, gardening or other family activities.
  • Keep regular mealtimes. Take up physical activity and go outdoors if you can.

You may find these learning resources helpful:

  • RTE Home School Hub broadcasts on RTE 2 from 11am to 12 noon for primary school children from first to sixth class. You can watch it back anytime on the RTE Player and you can also download activity sheets.
  • The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) has resources for parents  including tips for primary age children, resources for autism, speech and language therapy and occupational therapy. It also has ideas for play, literacy, attention and listening for primary school classes.
  • You can get advice and resources on how to stay well when schools are closed from the  National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS)
  • Scoilnet has free resources for primary and post primary students. 
  • The Department of Children and Youth Affairs has learning resources including for the Irish language and helping your child learn.

Don’t forget to look after yourself:

  • You can find information about Parenting during COVID-19 on gov.ie
  • Parentline helpline is open Monday to Thursday 10am-9pm and Fridays 10am-4pm on 1890 927 277. See parentline.ie.
  • Barnardos National Parent Supportline is open Monday to Friday 10am – 2pm on 1800 910 123.  You can talk directly to qualified staff who can offer practical support and guidance in your role as parents during the COVID-19 emergency. See barnardos.ie

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Citizens Information Centres are offering a phone and email service. You can access information and advice from:

  • Bray CIC on 0761 07 6780 Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm
  • Email Bray CIC at bray@citinfo.ie – anytime

Alternatively contact:

  • The Citizens Information Phone Service: 0761 07 4000, Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm
  • Our email channel: email to covid19@citinfo.ie, include your telephone number and an information officer will call you back within 2 working days.

Sign up to our weekly newsletter

Please contact us for use of this image