Latest from Government teacher talks could see Laois mainstream education begin to reopen from March

Lynda Kiernan

Reporter:

Lynda Kiernan

Tipperary TD calls on Government to tackle back to school costs

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All Irish schools will reopen on a phased basis from March 1, the Minister for Education will announce this Tuesday, February 16.

Minister Norma Foley is expected to announce to the Cabinet this morning that her department is planning for the phased full reopening of schools from 1 March.

RTE has reported the breaking news revealed to it by Government sources. 

The minister will also address the Oireachtas sub-committee on Education on the issue of assessment for this year's Leaving Certificate. 

Sources at the Department of Education say it is hoped that she will be in a position to announce concrete plans for the Leaving Certificate when she goes before the committee, but this is not yet certain.

Talks between the department, teacher trade unions and other parties are said to be "really at the nub of the issue", according to Emma O'Kelly's report. 

Students with additional needs and Leaving Certificate students are the priority. Followed by smaller children for whom remote learning is more difficult. 

Last week, almost 4,000 children with additional educational needs returned to in-person education. It is over eight weeks since schools closed before Christmas, replaced by remote learning since January due to the continued Level 5 Covid-19 lockdown.