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‘Low risk scenario’ as Government announce that schools will re-open at the end of August

Holy Family Junior School at Aughnaharna in Portlaoise

Taoiseach Leo Vardakar has said that the current government plan will see schools open at the end of August to begin the new school year.

Speaking to reporters following a cabinet meeting todya, Vardakar explained that the plan to reopen is “not a no-risk scenario but a low risk scenario”.

He said that while it is planned for schools to open in August, all students may not be able to attend school every day.

The Taoiseach added it will be “as close to normal as possible”.

The reopening of primary and secondary schools as planned will be contingent on how Covid-19 is spreading within the community at that point.

“We are also learning from countries that have had to reimpose restrictions,” he added.

“There have been outbreaks in schools in France and several schools in South Korea had to close due to outbreaks.

“It might mean that not every student is able to return to school but we will try to ensure it is as normal as possible.”

Pre-school, primary, secondary and third level have all been closed since Friday, March 13.

Initially it was for two weeks but that was extended to the end of Easter and later to the end of the school year.

The Junior Cert has been cancelled while the Leaving Cert is operating under a much different model than previous years due to the pandemic.

A system of predicted grades has been implemented and students will have the option of resitting the exams at a later date if they wish.

SEE ALSO – Laois-based multi-national company on course for July opening

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Steven Miller is owner and managing editor of LaoisToday.ie. From Laois, Steven studied Journalism in DCU and has 14 years experience in the media, almost 10 of those in an editorial role. Husband of Emily, father of William and Lillian, he's happiest when he's telling stories or kicking a point.