Thursday, 14 October 2021
Department of Education and Skills
My Department has always been guided by Public Health in relation to appropriate Covid-19 infection prevention and control measures that have been put in place in schools to operate safely and prevent the introduction of Covid-19 and also the onward of transmission of Covid-19 among the school community.
The very high rates of take up of the vaccines across society has been hugely encouraging and reassuring. The vast majority of teachers and staff have now been vaccinated. Those who are not vaccinated are not precluded from safely attending school and will be expected to do so, with the exception of a very small number of school staff who may be deemed to be at very high risk by the Occupational Health Service. Vaccinations are now also available for all children over 12 years. The uptake in this age cohort is also very encouraging. Similar to the arrangements for staff, children who are not vaccinated are not precluded from safely attending school.
My Department is engaging with Public Health on an ongoing basis to consider the appropriate level of infection prevention and control measures required in schools, including the measures referred to by the Deputy.