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Roadmap for re-opening of schools published

Posted by SchoolDays Newshound, on 12/06/2020. Roadmap for re-opening of schools publishedTags: Teachers Parenting

The Government today published a report on planning around the next school year and the reopening of schools. 

Minister McHugh said: “It is clear that the risks and impacts on children and society where access to education is significantly reduced are considerable particularly for the more vulnerable students in our society. The report sets out the clear ambition to develop a sustainable plan to fully reopen schools.” 

The Department of Education and Skills is in ongoing engagement with the education partners to work together to ensure a safe return to education for children and staff is an essential part of the planning for reopening and the development of guidance in relation to infection prevention and control in a school setting is a key component of that work. 

As part of the report, the impact of possible physical distancing requirements in school settings was examined and the reports states that:

If" distancing requirements are required in a classroom setting in September, then there are clear impacts arising from infrastructural constraints such as class sizes, teacher and other staff availability and the physical space available in a school setting :

At primary level:  2 metres in the classroom would result in almost all pupils attending school just 1 day a week; and
At post-primary level:  2 metres in the classroom would result in most pupils attending school 2 days a week,

At primary level:  1 metre in the classroom would result in almost all pupils attending school 2 ½ days a week (50% attendance at school);
At post-primary level: 1 metre in the classroom would result in some year groups attending school 50% of the time and other year groups attending school at or near a full-time basis "

The report also states that "a 50:50 blended school/home learning scenario would have "very serious impacts to the delivery of meaningful education".
It notes that it was "not feasible to consider the wholesale splitting of classes and recruiting of extra teachers - given that there are significant teacher supply issues currently.

Read the full report HERE



(13/06/2020 11:24)

Press Statement - 12/06/2020

Physical distancing for schools must be in line with public health advice

The ASTI notes today’s report “Planning for reopening schools in line with the roadmap for reopening society and business”.

The report emphasises that teacher-learner interaction is an essential element of a quality education.

It is well acknowledged that the start of the next school year must be approached with caution and that public health advice is of prime importance in guiding any decision. The ASTI would be very concerned if a differentiated approach to physical distancing is introduced for schools which deviates from that which pertains to wider society. Any deviation from the health advice available from the National Public Health Emergency Team would be unacceptable.

The ASTI has already communicated its key priorities regarding second-level schools at the Department of Education and Skills stakeholder group meetings.

Second-level schools are complex institutions housing up to 1,500 students as well as their teachers and other school staff. Students take a diverse range of subjects, some in specialist rooms, which involves large numbers of students moving through school buildings throughout each day. Because of these factors, the sooner that second-level schools can plan for the implementation of necessary re-opening requirements the better. An essential element of the plan will be substantially enhanced cleaning facilities in schools to facilitate a rigorous hygiene regime for students and staff.

The priorities for the ASTI are as follows:

Ensuring the health and safety of students, teachers and other school personnel

Adjusting the physical infrastructure to maintain social distancing

Resourcing and supporting teaching and learning

Making student equity a top priority at system and school level

Supporting the psychological and emotional wellbeing of students and teachers.

The ASTI insists on continued engagement in relation to the re-opening of schools in order achieve these priorities.

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