Written answers

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Department of Education and Skills

Covid-19 Pandemic

Cormac Devlin (Dún Laoghaire, Fianna Fail)
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382. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if he will consider allowing the senior primary school classes return to their schools subject to public health advice prior to the summer holidays to allow children say goodbye to their schoolteachers and fellow classmates while adhering to public health advice; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6886/20]

Photo of Joe McHughJoe McHugh (Donegal, Fine Gael)
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I recognise that this is a particularly challenging time for all students across the education system, but particularly for those students who will be transferring from primary to post-primary school. 

On the 1stMay 2020, the Taoiseach announced as part of the "Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business" that schools will commence opening on a phased basis at the beginning of the 2020/2021 academic year.

The Department is currently working with the Education Partners and relevant stakeholders in planning for this re-opening which will be based on public health advice. As part of this engagement, each of the education partners were given the opportunity to outline the key issues that they would like to have considered in the context of re-opening schools. 

The issues raised by the education partners included many of those referred to by the Deputy in his question.  These will now be worked through in detail as part of the development of the roadmap for reopening schools.

A core objective will be to ensure that schools and other education settings can re-open and operate in a safe manner that is consistent with public health advice.

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