SIPTU representatives have written today (Wednesday, 2nd September) to the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris, seeking clarification on the public health guidelines for the return of students and staff to third level campuses. SIPTU Public Administration and Community Division Organiser, Adrian Kane, said: “These guidelines were published in early August but there remains a lack of clarity on how they should be implemented. This has resulted in a wide variation in the interpretation of the guidelines by individual educational institutions. “Some colleges are favouring continued on-line learning and others are opting for ‘face to face’ learning with one metre social distancing. It is important that there is a high degree of uniformity and clarity on these guidelines for the sector. Such a clear and coherent approach is all the more necessary in light of the increase in the rate of recorded cases of Covid-19 since the guidelines were first published. He added: “In light of the rise in infections, SIPTU representatives have also referred the guidelines to the National Public Health Emergency Team in order to confirm that they are in compliance with the most up to date public health advice.”