Fianna Fáil T.D. for Kerry Norma Foley - Minister for Education

Education Minister Confirms Schools WILL Reopen Next Month

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Every school in the country is to reopen its doors to students in just over a month’s time.

The government’s confirmed all schools, which has been closed since March 12th, will “fully reopen” by the end of the August.

Ministers will discuss the plan for schools on Monday, which will outline the measures and resources needed to ensure a safe return to the classroom.

Taoiseach Micheal Martin has confirmed today that the plan is to reopen schools next month and that will go to cabinet on Monday for full briefing and publication.

Mr. Martin says ”we are in a good position” to get schools open the end of August. he ays schools will reopen “fully”.

Education Minister Norma Foley has been facing mounting pressure in recent weeks to push ahead with plans and make them available to schools to enable the return of teachers and pupils in the new academic year.

Ms Foley described the document as “detailed and comprehensive”. Ms Foley said “The full and safe reopening of schools is my number one objective as education minister.

“The partners in education, including parents, teachers, students, principals, and the widest representation, have fully and totally engaged in this process.

“Clarity takes time. I am confident that what I take to Cabinet will be solution-focused, it will be a roadmap that everyone can clearly identify with.

“There is no point in bringing anything that is not completed. It’s been a long process of work.”

She said that some exceptional cases will also be catered for.

Dr Ronan Glynn, the State’s acting chief medical officer, said on Thursday the schools were “absolutely on track” to reopen based on how the Covid-19 infection rate had stabilised.

Detailed guidelines will be issued to schools next week with templates on safe classroom layouts and protocols for a Covid-19 outbreak.

Large quantities of hand sanitiser and personal protective equipment are being contracted centrally and will be distributed to schools.