Search icon


04th Jan 2022

Calls for staggered re-opening of schools- do you agree?

Kat O'Connor

Is a staggered re-opening of schools our best option?

Schools in Ireland are set to re-open on Thursday, but many parents feel like it is too soon.

The growing level of Covid-19 infection in the community is a major concern for parents, students, and teachers too.

The ASTI has called for a “staggered” re-opening on Thursday, January 6th.

There are major concerns for the school community’s health and safety, according to the ASTI.

There are deep concerns about re-opening schools without “additional measures” in place.

“This would constitute an unacceptable risk in the context of the Omicron wave. There is uncertainty regarding the impact in schools of this significantly more transmissible variant.”

The ASTI has called for “an updated risk assessment” before schools re-open later in the week.

ASTI President Eamon Dennehy said there must be “appropriate safety measures” in place to protect both students and school staff.

“The ASTI will be proposing a delayed and staggered reopening of schools at a meeting tomorrow with Department of Education and Public Health Officials. Face-to-face teaching with examination classes should be prioritised.”

“It beggars belief that almost two years into this pandemic this basic facility is not in place where necessary.”

There are major concerns about staff shortages due to a rise in Covid-19 cases over the Christmas break.

The ASTI has also expressed concerns about both pupils and staff who are high-risk.

It will be highlighting the inadequate ventilation and lack of HEPA filtration units in schools at today’s meeting with Minister Norma Foley.

“We will be asking the Minister to consider making antigen tests available,” the ASTI added.

It believes parents and their kids could use the antigen tests prior to going to school.

This would be a “supplement” to the existing testing and tracing regime in second-level schools.

“The ASTI will also be calling for the speedy rollout of HEPA filtration units.

“It beggars belief that almost two years into this pandemic this basic facility is not in place where necessary,” it added.

What do you think?