The government has made a u-turn on plans to bring Leaving Certificate and special needs students back to school next Monday.
Education Minister Norma Foley has announced that all schools will now “regrettably” remain closed until 1st February.
The government has tonight backtracked on plans, announced yesterday, to fully reopen special schools and to bring Leaving Cert students back to the classroom for three days a week.
All provisions have now reverted to remote learning for all pupils for the rest of the month.
The announcement comes after Department of Education officials met with education partners including trade unions, and school management bodies to discuss the safe provision of in-person learning.
“It is with regret that I announce that, despite the confirmation by Public Health that schools remain safe, that children in special schools and special classes and Leaving Certificate students will not be extended in-person learning,” said Minister Foley.
“My Department has engaged with the unions and public health officials with a view to maintaining on site learning for this vulnerable group of students.
“It remains my strong belief that this period of time is crucial for the mental wellbeing of all children with special needs.
“I also felt it was the right thing to extend in-class teaching to our Leaving Certificate students who are approaching a crucial time in their exam year.
“Unfortunately I am left with no alternative but to pause the limited reopening on Monday to allow further engagement with all education stakeholders.”