School principals warn parents that foreign holidays may affect children’s acceptance into schools

Families are urged to consider how travel may affect their kids’ reentry into schools later this year


Even when nonessential international travel resumes, parents may want to reconsider their foreign holiday plans.

The President of the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals, Alan Mongey, warned families that taking a holiday abroad could affect their children’s acceptance into school when they reopen.

Speaking at the Oireachtas Special Committee on Covid-19 Response, he said that “going off on a foreign holiday to Portugal or Spain is going to place significant challenges on the ability of schools to accept those students in through the doors at the beginning of September”.

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“This is all about trying to keep Covid-19 out of schools and trying to maintain safe, healthy practices within schools.”

Significant preparation

He went on to say that schools are facing enough hardship as it is in reopening and need significant preparation before they can do so. 

They would like a full return of all students to school but this can only be possible if they receive proper funding, he said.

These funds are needed for schools to follow public health guidelines, prioritising students’ wellbeing and safety first and foremost.

Additional resources

Along with additional cleaning, training and supervision, schools will need an increased availability of substitute teachers. 

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The constant supervision of students will be necessary to ensure that social distancing is maintained.

“I have 1,000 pupils in my school and almost 100 members of staff. At present, I have one cleaner funded through the resources I get,” explained Mongey. 

“So, a huge amount of support is going to be required for supervision at lunch-times.”

Schools are expected to reopen in autumn, but this is contingent on if they will receive the resources they need to provide students with a safe environment compliant with public health guidelines.

 

Read more: WHO reviewing 'evidence emerging' of airborne spread of COVID-19

Read more: The HSE's Covid-19 tracker app has launched – here is how it works

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