NPHET to advise the Government that all schoolchildren return to school the end of February
According to the Irish Mail on Sunday, NPHET will advise the Government that kids go back to school on Monday, February 22.
However, the pressure is mounting to get kids back sooner, especially Leaving Certificate students, who are now only a few short months away from exam season.
‘The scheduled week-long midterm break for secondary schools, and the discretionary break for primary schools beginning on Monday, February 15, would be taken and all kids could return then on February 22.
‘The easiest way for all us now is shuffle this beyond the midterm. It’s the logical route if the numbers are still high. After midterm we can come back with something of a plan, to avoid the mess-up of last week.
‘There’s a week off coming up – use that to get classrooms and everything prepared for a full return.
‘Hopefully, the numbers will be way back down by then.
‘The hospital admissions won’t affect the schools too much. It really depends on how the day-today figures go.
‘We are going to assess all the Covid figures and data but as of now we would hope to advise the Government to allow students to go back to school after what has been on the calendar as the midterm break,’ said a source on NPHET.
‘However, we have spoken to the Department of Education and they are keen for the Leaving Certificate students to go back to classrooms in two weeks ago on February 1,’ the source told the Mail on Sunday.
Speaking to the Mail on Sunday separately, the Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly, said that the calendar for a return to school will be dictated by ‘public health advice’.