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Letter from the Minister of Education

Norma Foley
Minister for Education

T +353 1 889 2335 |

27th July 2020

Dear Parents/ Guardians,

Since I was appointed Minister for Education on 27 June, my first priority has been the
full re-opening of schools. Today the Government approved a Roadmap for Reopening
of Schools, and a funding package of €376 million to support this. I am confident that
the supports and additional resources we have provided will enable our schools to
open safely.

An enormous amount of work has been done to prepare detailed guidance based on
the interim public health advice for schools, which we received in late June.
The plan has been developed by consulting with those who know best how schools
run: representatives of students, parents, principals, teachers, SNAs, support staff and
school management bodies, and. Their expertise has been crucial in putting this
together and I am very grateful to all involved for their hard work over many weeks.

I know that school communities have a big job ahead of them to prepare for the return
to school. We have put in place some practical supports and a significant financial
package to help. This includes funding to make physical changes that schools may
need, funding to employ an aide to move furniture, help re-organise rooms and get
things ready before schools reopen, and funding for substitution and replacement of
teachers. We will also be providing funding for hand sanitiser and for personal
protective equipment, where appropriate.

Every school building and circumstance is different, and I’ve asked each school to
communicate directly with parents and students about the changes that you can expect
when term begins.

Before the return to school, the Department will provide schools with some
communications materials that are age-appropriate, to help you to support your child’s
return to school. They will also be available on I hope you will find
these useful.

I know that your children and you have experienced severe disruption as a result of
Covid-19. Pupils, parents, teachers and schools have made enormous efforts to keep
teaching and learning. But school is a special place, and some of the best parts of
learning are being in a classroom with other children, and everyone has missed out on

I know some children and young people may be nervous about returning, and we will
all be working to support them to settle in, to feel safe and to be happy in their school
work, when schools return.
I hope you and your families have a lovely summer and get to enjoy some time
Throughout this pandemic, we’ve all been in this together. This will be a time of
change, and there will be new routines for the students and for us all to learn. We will 
learn this together, because we all have a role to play in keeping the whole school
community safe.

With every good wish,
Norma Foley TD
Minister for Education