Sunday, August 02, 2020

Labour’s Aodhan O’Riordain has said some schools may not be able to reopen by August 31st.

Some schools may not be able to open in time in late August or September according to Labour.

The party says it is very difficult for principals to access building work to meet the Department of Education guidelines.

Schools only have around four weeks to get ready to re-open after the Government announced the funding plan earlier this week.

Labour education spokesperson Aodhan O’Riordain feels the announcement came too late for schools who are facing a number of challenges.

“We have issues around transport, substitute teachers, building work and the potential for special educational needs teachers to be doing substitute work as well, which has to be clarified.

“While there is any amount of challenges, the most important thing is that education comes together and delivers school reopening in August and September.”

Tight Timeframe

Following the announcement by Minister for Education, Norma Foyle to reopen schools as normal at the end of August, questions have been asked regarding the logistics of the plans.

Concerns were raised in the Dáil by Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald regarding whether children will be required to wear school uniforms, while others questioned if school buses will be able to operate with social distancing measures in place.

Teachers unions are sceptical as to whether or not schools will be able to reopen by August 31st, with the Association of Secondary Teachers in Ireland (ASTI) claiming the timeframe is too tight for the necessary building works to be carried out to make schools compliant with Covid-19 measures.

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