• As 54 schools across the country have identified positive Covid-19 cases since reopening, principals are calling for out of hours support, if they learn of a case of the virus in their school outside of working hours.

    Public health officials are asking schools to provide an out-of-hours contact number for principals, in case a member of staff or a student tests positive.

    President of the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals Alan Mongey  - who's principal of Colaiste Baile Chláir in Claregalway, says he wants an out-of-hours number for the Department of Health in return.

  • Re-opening schools fully in September will need "serious, serious resourcing", according to the largest teaching union.

    The Taoiseach Micheal Martin has said he is confident students will be back in classes in under six weeks time, almost six months after they were ordered to close due to Covid-19.

    Discussions continue this weekend on how they can be re-opened with an announcement due on Monday.

    President of the ASTI, Deirdre McDonald says it is wishful thinking without guidelines.

  • The Department of Education says schools, colleges of further education and third level institutions will re-open on Monday where possible.

    Each school will decide whether to open their doors to students, or remain closed, depending on the conditions in their area.

    The Department says they must ensure the safety of those in their care, and give due consideration to this when making their decision.

  • 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:

  • Entire schools may not need to close if there's an outbreak of COVID in the classroom under the government's new back to school plan.

    Outbreaks will be handled individually by a COVID officer within the school following public health guidelines.

    Children from junior infants to second class won't have to observe social distancing and all others will have to be spaced a metre from their classmates.

    375 million euro in funding has been made available including money to recruit more than 1,000 teachers to reduce class sizes.

    Money has also been made available for minor works for schools to adapt their classrooms to allow capacity.

    Taoiseach Michael Martin says it's a major logistical challenge.

  • The Government's being challenged to be 'upfront' about any further delays to plans for new schools.

    Fianna Fail's Education Spokesperson says a lack of urgency in getting new school builds off the ground has left communities hanging on for years for new facilities.

    Deputy Thomas Byrne wants to know if building new buildings has been put on hold while the Department sorts out its finances.

  • Guidance for schools on how to re-open safely will be issued by the end of July.

    The government intends to open schools as fully as possible by the end of August and September.

    The Department of Education has acknowledged there will be increased staff required in some cases to allow schools to follow the guidelines.

  • The Department of Education says no decision has been taken yet on extending mid-term breaks for schools.

    It follows reports that the Government is looking at the idea of extending the break so that schools would close for two weeks over Halloween from October 23rd until November 9th.

    The Department of Education says keeping schools open is a key priority at all levels of the Living with Covid plan.

    And it insists there have been "relatively few instances" where coronavirus has spread within a school.

    Of 6,718 tests of staff and students at schools across the country, there's been a 2% positivity rate so far.



    The National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals says it's important decisions about the reopening of schools are made without delay - so teachers can start planning for the next academic year.

    The Department of Education will publish a road map for schools in two weeks time.

    Yesterday, the INTO said it's not physically possible for children to return to schools in September under the two metre social distancing rule.

     The President of the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals, Alan Mongey, says blended and remote learning will require planning and guidance.

  • Every school in the country is to reopen its doors to students in just over a month's time.

    The government's confirmed all schools, which has been closed since March 12th, will "fully reopen" by the end of the August.

    Ministers will discuss the plan for schools on Monday, which will outline the measures and resources needed to ensure a safe return to the classroom.

  • Schools will be required to consult with parents and pupils on the use of Smart Phones in Schools.

    The Education Minister will send out a circular to all schools immediately telling them smart phones are an item requiring consultation with teachers, parents and pupils.

    That includes what devices are allowed and if they can be used for photos and videos and if age restrictions will apply to younger pupils.

    However, a spokesperson for the Association of Secondary Teachers in Ireland said most schools already have rules on smart phones, and said a blanket ban wouldn't work.



  • A secondary school teachers’ union has called for an early Christmas break for schools after a nine-month struggle through Covid-19.

    The Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) said it would also allow more time to staff and students to restrict their movements before meeting elderly or vulnerable relatives for festive gatherings.

    Education Minister Norma Foley yesterday ruled out finishing the term on Friday, December 18, rather than the following Tuesday 22nd December, unless public health advice changed.

    But the TUI later said “serious consideration” should be given to the proposal.

  • The Republic of Ireland u15 girls Schools select retained the John Read Trophy following a comprehensive display against hosts England in Stafford Town FC at the weekend.


    Its two wins on the bounce for Berkeley’s side as they overcame Northern Ireland 2-1 last month in his debut as Head Coach of the U15 Girls’ Republic of Ireland select taking over from Lorraine Counihan.


    The Irish were impressive from the outset and produced several clear cut chances early on but it wasn’t until the half hour mark that Presentation SS, Kilkenny scholar Ellen Molloy headed home to break the deadlock.


    Molloy added a second on the hour mark to give the visitors some breathing space in a physically demanding encounter.


    The icing on the cake came two minutes from time when substitute Erin McLaughlin of Carndonagh CS came off the bench to convert the Republic of Ireland’s third of the day.


    The Irish side have plenty of local interest with Kate O’Dowd from St. Nathy’s College Ballaghaderreen and Emer O’Neill from St. Louis Community School both featuring.


    Claregalway College had Shauna Brennan and Kate Slevin both involved.


    Therese Kinnevey from Oughterard also started in the defence for the Republic.

  • There will be an update later today on the re-opening of schools in six weeks time.

    Tens of millions of euro is expected to be made available to cover the cost of any safety measures needed to protect staff and students from Covid-19.

    Mayo Agriculture Minister Dara Calleary told Midwest News this morning that the funding will be made available to make structural changes to classrooms, improve hand washing facilities along with daily cleaning and hygiene routines.

    The Irish Times is reporting that enhanced supervision and substitution will be provided to cover an expected increase in teacher absences.

    The Taoiseach will meet the Education Minister this morning to discuss the plan.

    Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn yesterday said that schools were "absolutely on track" to reopen based on how virus infection rate had stabilised.