Phased reopening of all schools planned from the start of next month 2 months ago

Phased reopening of all schools planned from the start of next month

It is expected that all students will return to their classes over the course of March.

The Minister for Education Norma Foley will tell Cabinet this morning that her department is planning for the phased full reopening of schools in Ireland from Monday, 1 March.

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According to RTÉ, Foley will tell Cabinet colleagues that it is her "strong preference" that all students will return to their classes over the course of next month.

An update on the situation with this year's Leaving Certificate is also expected on Tuesday.

It is understood that students with additional needs and Leaving Certificate students will be the top priority in any return to school.

After that, at primary level, priority is likely to be given to younger children for whom remote learning is difficult.

Speaking earlier this month, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar stressed that those with additional needs will need to be brought back in first.

"It does have to be done by agreement, but we are very keen to start with children with additional needs, they need their education and some of them are regressing now which is very worrying."

He also said the government did not want to open the schools in "one big bang" but rather a phased basis because new variants of Covid-19 had proved to be more transmissible.

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