Minister for Education Richard Bruton has said a large number of schools will have to close on Monday due to the withdrawal of supervision and substitution by ASTI teachers.

Responding to Fianna Fáil’s Thomas Byrne who asked what contingency measures were in place in the event of schools closing, the minister said whether they open or not is a matter for the schools.

Mr Bruton said the Department of Education could not make that decision for schools and it was about meeting health and safety standards.

He said the department has a formal proposal on the table and ASTI members needed to work the hours that were agreed under Croke Park because it would not be fair and equitable if members were to withdraw from contractual hours to which other unions had signed up.

Talks between the Department of Education and the ASTI have ended for the day. Discussions between both parties are due to resume tomorrow.

The negotiations are aimed at resolving the dispute over teachers' pay and conditions.

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