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Teachers' Union asks government to start Christmas holidays a few days early

By Rory Cashin

November 18, 2020 at 9:22am

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As it stands, schools are set to go on their Christmas break from Tuesday, December 22.

The Teachers' Union of Ireland have asked the government to seriously consider starting Christmas holidays a few days early this year.

Currently, the Christmas break is due to start from Tuesday, December 22, but the request has been put in to begin the Christmas holidays from Friday, December 18.

Earlier this week, the Minister for Education Norma Foley said that there would be no changes to the Christmas break for schools, stating "I'm conscious of the public health advice which is telling us that students are much better served when they are in school."

The TU general secretary Michael Gillespie talked about bringing forward the Christmas break, saying that "This would be a real, tangible action that could benefit all in the school community. It could also prove to be a 'stitch in time' measure that helps prevent longer absences due to burnout and exhaustion later in the school year."

Gillespie continued, stating that this year had been "unprecedentedly difficult and draining for school communities. Thanks to the remarkable work of staff, schools have remained open throughout all levels of restrictions, including Level 5.

"However, stress and anxiety levels remain extremely high as a result of a range of worries and concerns that were not imaginable this time last year."

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