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A partial return has commenced today at local Primary Schools with one MLA calling the arrangements where the school children are only back a matter of day before they have to return to home schooling 'madness'.

All Nursery, Primary One, Two and Three children return today but will be off again next Tuesday for the St Patrick's Day break.

St Patrick's Nursery and Primary School, The Meadow, Newry. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/ Newry.ie
St Patrick's Nursery and Primary School, The Meadow, Newry. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/ Newry.ie

They will then return to remote learning returning to school only after the Easter holidays.

Justin McNulty MLA has said the Minister of Education must review his plans for the phased reopening of schools.  

Mr McNulty said, "The best place for children is in school, and I haven’t heard a parent, teacher or principal say anything to the contrary.  I fully appreciate the need to return to school only when it is safe to do so.

"However I am completely puzzled at the Minister’s plan to have Nursery and Primary 1-3 return for two weeks, only to revert to remote learning for ten days before the Easter break. This is seemingly to allow year’s 12-14 return to Secondary Schools.  This is madness and really doesn’t make sense.

"Parents and school leaders are united, they need clarity and they need to see a detailed plan for when children will return to school.  Teachers want to get back to the classroom, and they know the best place for all children is back in the classroom. This proposed hokey-pokey system is fooling no one, its benefiting no one a no-one can understand the logic.

"The Executive must signal a clear plan for the return to schools.  We need to know exactly when the rest of the school children will return to school and we must ensure that schools have the resources they need to support children and staff in the months ahead."

Students in years 12 to 14, who will be awarded qualifications this summer will return to full time face to face teaching from 22 March 2021.

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