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11th Mar 2022

Minister Foley says there is room for thousands of Ukrainian pupils in our schools

Kat O'Connor

She said they will do everything they can to help pupils.

Minister Norma Foley has stressed that there will be enough room for Ukrainian pupils in Irish schools.

She has vowed that the Department of Education will do everything it can to help them.

Speaking to Newstalk, Minister Foley said it won’t be easy to find places, but they will do everything they can to welcome as many new students as possible.

She told the radio station that there are already new students from Ukraine in Irish schools.

She revealed one family arrived in Ireland on a Friday and their child was already in school by Monday.

“I do want to say that the education system is very capable and very flexible on an ongoing basis – and has done it prior to this particular crisis – in welcoming new students.”

Minister Foley said she is aware that a lot more needs to be done to support thousands of Ukrainian pupils.

“I am going to be very honest and say it is not going to be easy,” she shared.

She said the Department will face challenges, “but I do think that all of us in society are very conscious that not one of us would like to walk in the footsteps of a mother who is trying to find safe passage for her children – a safe haven for her children.

“I think it behooves us all to do what we need to do.”

“I have every confidence the education sector will do that,” Minister Foley added.

Over 2,500 people have arrived in Ireland since Russia invaded Ukraine in February.