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New guidelines put in place ahead of schools reopening this September

By Sarah Finnan

July 2, 2020 at 10:00am

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According to new guidelines published ahead of schools reopening later this year, a distance of one-metre will need to be maintained between students from third class up.

Expected to reopen in late August/early September, primary and secondary schools across Ireland will be making a number of changes to classroom layouts so as to allow for proper social distancing to be enforced.

According to new guidelines, a minimum distance of at least one-metre will need to be maintained between students and staff at all times - however, this will not be applicable to young students up to second class.

The use of pods may also be introduced in some schools which would see small groups of students grouped together, with each pod spaced one metre apart.

Minister for Education Norma Foley welcomed the new guidelines saying:

"We all want to support the education system so that we can welcome our pupils and staff across our school communities back into a safe environment later in the year.

We will continue to work with the public health experts over the course of the summer to update the interim advice as necessary."

Later adding that she is "confident" that schools and stakeholders will be "enabled to plan the safe return of their communities", there is still a question mark over whether schools will be able to reopen fully after the summer.

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