Foley: no plan to extend Christmas holidays

Similar suggestions had been made before the Halloween midterm but were also turned down.
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Digital Desk Staff

The Minister for Education has said there are no plans to extend the Christmas holidays for schools.

It had been suggested that the school's would close earlier than expected before Christmas to allow more time for families to meet safely over the holiday period according to the Irish Times.

Labour Party TD Aodhán Ó Ríordáin asked Ms Foley at a meeting of the Oireachtas education committee today whether closing schools on Friday, December 18th rather than the following week had been considered.

Ms Foley replied that it was not their intention to extend the break as children had already missed out on school time due to the pandemic.

“I am aware of the importance of children being in school. That is why we have worked hard - even in Level 5 - to keep schools open,” Ms Foley said.

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Despite the commitment to keeping schools open, the Minister noted data revealing some students have experienced anxiety due to Covid-19.

Ms Foley said between 98 and 99 per cent of students are back to school, with limited "reluctant school attendance behaviour" recorded.

The Minister also face questions regarding the level of secrecy when a case of the virus is confirmed within a school.

MS Foley rejected the suggestions of secrecy saying issues surrounding cases and contact training were left for trained public health professionals and that school principals should not be faced with making public health decisions.

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