Work underway to try and reopen schools safely in September, says Education Minister 6 months ago

Work underway to try and reopen schools safely in September, says Education Minister

However, it's "too early to say" if this will be possible.

Minister for Education Joe McHugh has said that work is underway to try and safely reopen schools in September but said it's "too early to say" if schools will fully reopen amid social distancing fears.

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McHugh said it would have to be done in a safe way and it was too soon to say how schools would operate but said he's working with the various stakeholders to provide a "proper consultation".

"We are going to work with all the stakeholders and I have already started the conversation a number of weeks ago," he said on RTÉ's The Week in Politics.

"With a lot of the stakeholders, whether it is post-primary or primary, we are going to work towards opening the schools because the NPHET advice is that schools will reopen in September,"

"So the question now is, how can we do that in a safe way? I think it is too early to say how that will look. But that is a job we have started and we will continue to work our way through it.

McHugh said he was trying to give as much clarity on the issue as possible.

"The last thing I want to being doing today is say in the month of May what this will look like," he said.

"That's why I want at the heart of this; a proper consultation."

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McHugh announced on Friday that the Leaving Cert was cancelled for the first time in 95 years.

Students now have the option of receiving grades calculated by their teachers based on their school work and assessments so far, or they can sit their written exams later this year or in early 2021, dependent on public health advice.