Minister reassures parents that full school reopening is planned
"These measures protect pupils, their parents, and school staff."
Minister for Education Norma Foley has stressed that re-opening schools fully is a top priority for the government.
She said the current plan is for schools to open fully in September.
Parents have expressed their concerns about the re-opening of schools as cases continue to rise across the island of Ireland. However, Minister Foley said she wants to "reassure parents and guardians that plans are in place to support the full reopening of schools in time for the start of the new school year at the end of August 2021″.
She added, "The new variants of the disease do not change the infection prevention and control measures required in schools. Public Health advice is that compliance with these measures ensure that schools remain a low risk for children and staff. Schools will continue to be supported in terms of the additional resources necessary to provide for these measures."
She stressed that schools are low-risk environments in terms of COVID-19 spreading.
"The infection prevention and control measures in place are highly effective in reducing the risk of contracting Covid-19. These measures protect pupils, their parents, and school staff."
“At this point in the pandemic and given the ongoing rollout and impact of the vaccination programme it is imperative that children’s education is prioritised and schools are fully reopened at the start of the academic year and remain open throughout the 2021/22 school year."
Foley added that everything will be done to ensure schools can open safely in September. She added that The Department of Education will do everything it can to support schools as we return to some form of normality.
It is believed additional funding will be provided for schools this term.