Reopening Primary and Special Schools Safely

Until a vaccine is developed 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 StampedDownload Roadmap for Full Return to School

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.


For children with special educational needs (SEN) maintaining physical distancing in many instances will not be practical or appropriate to implement. The focus should, therefore, be on emphasising that parents/guardians should have a heightened awareness of signs, symptoms or changes in baseline which suggests illness/COVID-19 infection.

Where symptoms are present – children should not attend school.

Similarly, staff should be aware of their responsibility not to attend work if they develop signs or symptoms of respiratory illness

A Word of Support

Leaving Certificate 2020

Leaving aside the exams, I am keenly aware of the disappointment that so many students feel about the way their time in school will finish. However, your time in secondary school, spanning over five years is what really matters. Hopefully, you will be equipped with self-awareness and critical thinking skills that you can carry with you into the real world. There are many historical examples of groundbreaking discoveries and timeless masterpieces that were born during times of adversity including Isaac Newton’s and William Shakespeare’s acclaimed achievements which emerged under quarantine conditions caused by a plague outbreak in the late 16th century!

It is the true excellence of the human spirit and endeavour to find new opportunities, new paths, and certainly to be of use to one another when the going gets tough. 

Go raibh maith agat ó bhun mo chroí

- Anne Rabbitte

Back to School | Primary Schools 1


September 2020

Current year leaving certificate results issued.



September 2020

Round 1 offers available from 14:00 online, also issued by email and SMS text. Applicants who have not received an offer will receive a "Statement of Application' email.



September 2020

Available place facility opens.



September  2020


Round 1 acceptance closing date.


Primary schools may use 3 discretionary days to extend this break to a 5 day break, Monday 15th February 2021 to Friday 19th February 2021 unlsess changes are required as part of contingency arrangements to make up for time lost due to unforeseen school closures.


September 2020


Round 2 offers available online.


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.


September 2020


Round 2 acceptance closing date.


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Constituency Office: 

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

Telephone:  ☎️  0909759695