Preparing to reopen schools


Sir, – As a secondary school teacher I am shocked but not surprised at the thinly veiled contempt shown by State departments for the education sector.

Despite months of derision in the media and having our profession dragged through the mud, teachers have continued to push for a plan from Government on the safe reopening of schools.

The plan that was released yesterday – five weeks before term starts, is nothing more than farcical. I find it hard to fathom how I cannot go into my local shop to buy milk without a mask but the Department of Education has no problem with me spending eight hours interacting with 100-plus teenagers many of whom may be non-compliant with social guidelines.

€75m has been made available for building works to allow for social distancing, in five weeks? My school has been waiting over 10 years for the sod to be turned on a new building to accommodate students in our overcrowded school.

We’ll be shut down with a second wave before the department gets its act together. – Yours, etc,


Co Wicklow.

Sir, – As far as I can tell, other than hospital workers, teachers are the only professionals being asked to return to work indoors for seven hours a day, in buildings many of which will have in excess of 600 people, with no option to work from home.

If this is necessary to help with a return to normal and is completely safe, why are other sectors of the public service not being asked or even encouraged to do the same? – Yours, etc,


Dublin 11.