Thursday, 23 September 2021
Department of Education and Skills
105. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if her Department has given a recommendation to primary level schools that semi-contact sports such as hockey and football are not to be played within the current school term; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [45448/21]
The Department is guided by Public Health as to the mitigation measures needed to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in our schools. The aim of all of the Covid-19 infection prevention and control measures that have been put in place for schools is to support schools to operate safely and prevent the introduction of Covid-19 and also the onward of transmission of Covid-19 among the school community. These measures protect pupils, their parents and school staff and are very effective when adhered to. Schools have been told that they should continue to operate the infection prevention and control measures in place in the previous school year. These measure include hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene, physical distancing and staying at home if you are unwell.
Physical activity (PE) is viewed as important part of the school curriculum and pupils should be encouraged to participate in PE provided they are well.
In addition the Government’s plan for the final phase of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic “COVID-19: Reframing the Challenge, Continuing Our Recovery and Reconnecting” outlines that outdoor group activities can now take place without restrictions.
This would include sports such as hockey and football. Ultimately it is a matter for each individual school to determine what extracurricular sports the school partakes in. Schools participating in sporting events and activities should refer to the relevant guidelines provided by the various sporting governing bodies.