Multi-million euro plan to reopen schools set to be announced

ireland
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Digital Desk staff

A funding package costing about €300 million is expected to be announced later today, as part of plans to reopen schools next month.

Discussions on details for the reopening were thrashed out over the weekend.

Enhanced cleaning regimes, investment in school buildings and more substitute teachers are just some of the measures planned to reassure people that school will be a safe place for their children.

There will be a major investment in sanitation and personal protective equipment.

Additional teachers are being sourced as staff are being advised not to come in if they display symptoms of the virus.

Teachers Union of Ireland general secretary John McGabhann says a school’s ability to respond quickly to an outbreak of Covid-19 will be essential:

“We also would like to have schools in the position where they can respond very, very adroitly to any incident that may arise, and specifically I’m speaking here of let’s say, an outbreak of Covid in the school. Such an outbreak, given that it will take place without prior knowledge, will require an instant response.”

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A lack of clarity over whether the full reopening would actually happen has led to growing anxiety among parents and pupils.

It is thought that buy-in to the measures from unions – who have played a key role in shaping them - will be vital to their success.

Targeted supports for students with special needs are also thought to be included in the planned multi-million euro package.

The Cabinet will be briefed on the details today before its publication.

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