Schools and the Christmas break

 

Sir, –The topic of school finishing early to allow families of students as well as teachers to have social interaction has been vetoed out of hand by the Minister for Education (“Minister says there are no plans to extend Christmas break despite ‘wellbeing’ concerns”, News, November 18th).

It seems that while all sorts of changes in work practices have been made to keep employees safe, this does not apply to teaching and we must, for the most part, continue business as usual. Parents have the option of taking their children out of school early, if they feel this is necessary; staff, however, do not have this option. This puts staff living alone or away from home in a particularly difficult position.

The Minister speaks frequently about teachers’ “goodwill”, which she and her department rely on abundantly.

Thus, at a time of goodwill, which Christmas is supposed to be, and if schools are to remain open, the Department of Education should show its own “goodwill” by providing rapid tests in school for all staff on December 22nd so that they can be safe in the knowledge of whether they can meet family members outside their household during their Christmas break. – Yours, etc,

NIAMH BYRNE,

Fairview,

Dublin 3.