Dear Parents and Guardians,
The following is an extract from the statement we received today from the Department of Education and Skills Press office :
An announcement was made this morning by the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD of the closure of schools, pre-schools and further and higher education settings, for a period until 29 March 2020, to support efforts to contain the spread of Covid-19. This will take effect from 6pm this evening, Thursday 12 March.This is in line with the advice of the National Public Health Emergency Team.
All pupils and students, from pre-school to third level are urged to practice social distancing, and to minimise physical contact with each other, to help avoid the spread of Covid-19. This should include minimising social contact, avoiding meeting up and keeping physical space between them. Parents and guardians are urged to support their children to maintain this approach.
Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh TD said:
“I am deeply conscious of the impact that school and education setting closures have on students, on families and on the wider community. This is a necessary and proportionate measure that we are taking as a pro-active measure to help contain the threat of Covid-19.
This is the right decision at the right time. It is taken in the best interests of our children, our young people, our school and college communities and our wider society.
At this point in time the closure is planned for two weeks, from tomorrow until 29 March. The Government, in conjunction with the public health authorities, will keep the situation under ongoing review. Any change to that date will be communicated widely.
Pupils should take their books and learning materials home with them this evening.
This is a very challenging time for our pupils, our teachers, our students and our colleagues in further and higher education.
Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireann na daoine – we all live in one another’s shadow. If there was ever a time for us to appreciate how closely we are connected, how much what we do matters to others, how much we rely on each other, this is it. This is a time where we all need to work together for the best possible outcome for our students. The support of everyone across the sector is vital, as we all strive to ensure that this threat is dealt with as effectively as possible.”
The Department of Education and Skills will remain open and will continue to provide supports to the education sector at this time.
The Department of Education and Skills has been liaising closely on a continual basis with the Department of Health in relation to Coronavirus/Covid-19 since early January. This will continue.
I suppose it is important to remember that we are not on holidays. This is a very exceptional closure. This is an opportunity for your child to read some books, draw, colour or write a story. Your child’s teacher may have sent home some work to be done during the time off.
Most importantly, we hope that everyone in our school community will remain safe and well during the closure.