Minister Norma Foley

  • A proposal to extend the school break at Christmas has been ruled out by the Education Minister.

    The suggestion by the Labour Party would see the term end on December 18th, rather than the following week.

    It's highlighted the stress and fatigue experienced by teachers and students over the last few months.

    But Minister Norma Foley says she doesn't want pupils to lose out on any more class time:

  • The Education Minister Norma Foley has apologised this evening for errors in the Leaving Cert calculated grades system, that will impact the grades of some 6,500 students.

    A mistake in one line of code in predictive grades meant 7,200 lower grades were given, while a small number of students were given higher grades.

    They will not be downgraded - while texts have been going out this evening to students who may have a grade revised upwards.

    At a press conference this evening, Education Minister Norma Foley said it's a mistake that should never have happened:

    However, Mayo TD Rose Conway-Walsh has criticised the Education Minister for explaining the errors in a press conference this evening, rather than coming into the Dail to take questions from TDs on what went wrong.

    Deputy Conway-Walsh, who's Sinn Fein's spokesperson on Higher Education, says blaming the error on one line of code is not acceptable.

    She told Midwest News this evening that it's a complete debacle for the Government...

     

     

  • The Education Minister is cautiously optimistic schools can begin a phased reopening on the 1st of March.

    The plan is to bring back Leaving Cert students and the youngest classes in primary school first.

    Other classes are likely to follow around two weeks later.

     Minister Norma Foley says it all depends on Covid cases but she's hopeful it can happen......

     

     

    Meanwhile, the Cabinet sub-committee on Covid will meet this afternoon to get advice on when parts of the economy might re-open in the coming months.

    NPHET is expected to advise on a school re-opening date that could be as early as March 1st.

    That will start with Leaving Certs and the younger classes in primary school, with a review every two weeks.

    NPHET will also advise on whether construction can more fully open in March, which the Department of Housing is pushing for.

     

     

  • The Education Minister Norma Foley has told the Cabinet she's planning for a phased return to school for all students next month.

    March 1st has been set as a target date, but talks with unions and other stakeholders are still ongoing.

    The Cabinet also heard that the negotiations on the Leaving Cert are continuing with the Minister hopeful there can be an announcement this week.

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    The three major teaching unions have voted in favour of a motion for industrial action, up to strikes.

    The ASTI, the INTO and TUI all backed the proposal today.

    They say teachers should be prioritised for vaccines, as they interact with dozens of children every day.

    But Education Minister Norma Foley says Covid-19 transmission in schools is low.