Reopening Primary and Special Schools Safely

As the vaccine is rolled out for COVID-19, each community is going to need support in charting a path to safely and responsibly reopen schools crucial to the well-being and vitality of our communities.  Our government will be with you every step of the way.

Full Resources | Time Stamped


March 2021

Special schools at 100% capacity
Junior and senior infants, 1st and 2nd class to return to school
Final year Leaving Certificate classes to return to school


March 2021

Resumption of the ECCE programme and return to school of ECCE-age children


March 2021

3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th class return to school at primary level

5th year post-primary students to return to school


March  2021

Early learning and care, and school-age childcare services to reopen


April 2021

1st to 4th years post-primary return to school 


Where contingency arrangements are required to make up for time lost due to unforeseen school closures, a school authority may reduce the length of the Easter break by remaining open up to and including Wednesday 31st March 2021.


Extended to 30June 2021

Pandemic Unemployment Payment 
Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme
COVID-19 Enhanced Illness Benefit 
Covid Restrictions Support Scheme 
Suspension of redundancy provisions 
Commercial rates waiver 

Covid 19 response plan

The Board of Management/Education and Training Board aims to facilitate the resumption of school-based teaching and learning and the return to the workplace of staff.

The return to the workplace must be done safely and in strict adherence to the public health advice and any guidance issued by the Department of Education.

Details for the safe reopening of the school facility and the applicable controls are outlined in this document.

Control Measures

One of the key messages to manage the risks of COVID-19 is to do everything practical to avoid the introduction of COVID-19 into the school.

If the infection is NOT introduced it cannot be spread.

The risk of spreading the infection once introduced exists in all interpersonal interactions; student-student, teacher-teacher and teacher-student and must be managed in all settings.


The Department of Education will provide additional funding to schools to support the enhanced cleaning required to minimise the risks of COVID-19.  Details of the funding supports will be provided to schools by way of circular and will be updated as required.  The funding will be provided in advance of reopening.

The specific advice in relation to school cleaning is set out in the HSPC health advice for schools and will be covered in the induction training. This advice sets out the cleaning regime required to support schools to prevent COVID-19 infections and the enhanced cleaning required in the event of a suspected case of COVID-19.

Schools are asked to carefully read and understand the cleaning advice and to apply that to all areas of the school as appropriate.

Schools are reminded to take particular care of the hygiene arrangements for hand washing and toilet facilities.

Back to School | Primary Schools 1
Back to School | Primary Schools 2

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Here you will find a snapshot of my work as Minister of State in Leinster House and updates on my constituency work.


Average Class Size


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Get In Touch

Constituency Office: 

The Hub, St Brendan Street, Portumna, Co. Galway 

Cross Street, Athenry, Co. Galway

Telephone:  ☎️  0909759695


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