Statement on the Re-Opening of Schools in August 2020

National Parents Council Post Primary welcome Minister Norma Foley’s announcement on 27th July 2020 and the accompanying Roadmap for the Full Return to School.

The Department of Education and Skills Advisory Group, at which all partners in education have worked together, has identified and discussed the requirements to ensure that all schools can open at the end of August and that all students will receive the support necessary to re-start their educational journey at school.

The level of funding and support indicated in Minister Foley’s announcement demonstrates the commitment and determination of Government and all stakeholders to ensure the safest possible reopening of our schools.

The health and welfare of students, with particular focus on those with additional needs, remains a core concern of parents as our schools re-open.

The protection of all involved in the education of our students is critical and NPCPP welcomes the recognition of these requirements in the plans outlined.

While time is short and there is much to do to re-open safely, it is crucial that school communities now work together to ensure that the support and understanding that will be required by all involved is forthcoming.

Clear and timely communications must be provided to each school’s staff, pupils and parents to ensure that all understand the requirements in their school and undertake the training and preparation necessary to ensure that school remains a safe environment.

Everyone will then have a responsibility to play their part in the implementation of the procedures and arrangements put in place.

NPCPP wish to thank the Secretary General and all participants at the DES Advisory Group consultations for their dedication and considered representations which have resulted in the development of the roadmap to re-open our schools.

We welcome the commitment indicated to continue consultations within this forum to monitor progress as schools re-open and to ensure ongoing support for all schools and pupils in the new academic year.

NPCPP will continue to participate pro-actively in this Advisory Group to strongly advocate for students and parents.

The affects of COVID-19 will continue to be felt in education and elsewhere for some time to come.

Continued co-operation will be necessary to deliver the plans outlined.

Adjustments and adaptions will be required by educators and learners as we progress.

NPCPP remains committed to represent the interests and concerns of all post primary parents and students through the coming school year and in all future educational planning, debate and consultations.