- Ireland's Online Resource for Parents & Teachers

Parenting & Education in Ireland - Ireland's Online Resource for Parents & Teachers

Parenting & Education

× Home Parents Associations Contact Us
Log in Register Forgot password? ×

Back to School Guidelines Published

Posted by SchoolDays Newshound, on 02/07/2020. Back to School Guidelines PublishedTags: Education And Politics Parenting Teachers

The Minister for Education Norma Foley TD has welcomed the publication of interim public health advice from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) in relation to the re-opening of schools. 

The interim public health advice is being published this afternoon (1st July).  In addition, a draft Covid-19 plan will be issued to primary schools that provides schools with information about the measures being progressed to support the sustainable reopening of schools. Engagement with stakeholders on the public health advice and planning process for both primary and post-primary schools will continue over the coming weeks. 

Minister Foley said: “I am pleased to publish this interim public health advice, which will inform the development of clear guidelines for implementation in schools.  We all want to support the education system so that we can welcome our pupils and staff across our school communities back into a safe environment later in the year.  We will continue to work with the public health experts over the course of the summer to update the interim advice as necessary.  

“This interim advice provides a platform for deep engagement with all of the school stakeholders over the coming weeks: principals, teachers and all school staff, students, parents and education partners. 

“I was very pleased to begin meeting a wide range of stakeholders this morning. I am struck by the commitment that everyone has towards providing the best possible experience for the whole school community to return to school as safely as possible and as fully as possible in September.” 
“There is great willingness to work together and I am confident that with ongoing engagements with all stakeholders and work by my officials schools will be enabled to plan the safe return of their communities. 

“It is my utmost priority that student and staff safety and wellbeing is to the forefront in all of the planning. I will be ensuring with my officials that we have support materials available to schools that recognise the experiences of students, teachers and all school staff and of parents, and the part they will all play in returning to school safely. 

“I also want to acknowledge the hard work that school communities have put in over the past number of months. I hope that the planning work being done and the clarity that we provide today will enable each member of the school community to get a well-deserved break and rest during the summer.” 
[End Press Release]

The following recommendations on social distancing in Schools are made in the HSE recommendations:

Primary Level
A distance of 1 metre should be maintained between desks or between individual pupils. It is recognized that younger children are unlikely to maintain physical distancing indoors. Therefore, achieving this recommendation in the first 4 years of primary school, is not a prerequisite to reopening a primary school for all pupils.
Post Primary Level
Physical distancing of 2 metres where possible or at least 1 metre should be maintained between desks or between individual students or staff. In future planning, consider moving to individual desks and chairs for students. • As far as possible students would remain in the classroom and teachers would move between rooms.
A distance of 2 metres is recommended for physical distancing by staff. In the context of education this is especially relevant to distancing between adults when they are not engaged in teaching for example when on breaks and arriving for work. • If a distance of 2m cannot be maintained in staff group interactions, as much distance as possible should be maintained and guidance on face coverings should be observed.

The following documents were published on the 1st July

  • Letter from Secretary General - Supprting Schools in planning for re-oping for the 20/21 school year

  • Covid-19 School Response Plan Primary and Special Schools Draft

  • HSE Interim Recommendations for the reopening of schools and educational facilities



    (02/07/2020 08:51)

    ASTI Statement 1st July

    ASTI notes Interim Health Advice for reopening of Schools

    ASTI notes the publication today of the interim advice issued by the HPSC regarding the operation of summer programmes being provided in schools.

    The medical advice provides for social distancing both in the classroom and the wider school environment.

    The aim of the ASTI and its members is the reopening of schools and classrooms as soon as possible to the maximum possible extent. However, this must be achieved in a manner that is safe and enjoys the confidence of all concerned. Second-level schools are complex institutions housing up to 1,600 students as well as their teachers and other staff.

    ASTI will continue to engage constructively with the Department of Education and Skills and all the stakeholders to ensure appropriate guidance covering all aspects is issued to schools and a smooth reopening can take place.

    This work will complement the implementation of the provisions of the Return to Work Safely protocol for staff.

    A large volume of work needs to be done over the coming weeks to ascertain precisely the numbers returning at post-primary level as different logistical considerations and health must be considered.

    Submit a comment

    Please respect the terms of use of our discussion boards. Full terms here .
    Email addresses are never displayed, but they are required to confirm your comments. When you submit your comment, you'll be sent a link to confirm it.
    Name Email

  • ;