Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said keeping schools open remains a priority of the Government, following reports that adding an extra week to this year’s break had been discussed.
Speaking on RTÉ’s The Week in Politics, Minister of State for Further and Higher Education Niall Collins said he wished to “knock on the head” the idea that schools may be closed for a longer period of time than usual.
“There is absolutely no plan to close our schools beyond the traditional one-week break around Halloween,” the Fianna Fáil TD said.
“All the public health advice which is available shows quite clearly that schools are not an issue in terms of the transmission of Covid,” Mr Collins said, adding that the country owed it to children to keep schools open and bring normality to their lives.
“There is absolutely no plan to close our schools beyond the traditional one-week break around Halloween,” Minister of State at the Department of Higher Education @NiallCollinsTD tells @rtetwip | https://t.co/mMZC1UeVPj pic.twitter.com/eZ3GcukPC8
— RTÉ News (@rtenews) October 11, 2020
On Friday, it was reported that children could be given a two-week break from school to coincide with further Covid-19 restrictions, allowing a short and severe nationwide lockdown to take place to stem the spread of the virus.
However, Mr Collins said: “I don’t think the parents of children and the children themselves would thank us were we to close the schools.”
Keeping schools open has been a priority of the Government and the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) since they reopened in September.
Schools are due to close for mid-term break between Monday, October 26th and Friday, October 30th.