Parents who take children on foreign holidays this summer are jeopardising their chances of returning to school in September, a post-primary principals’ leader warned today.
Alan Mongey told the Oireachtas Covid-19 committee that re-opening schools to the maximum extent "is going to take a community effort".
"If parents want students returning to school in September, then heading off on a foreign holiday to Portugal or Spain will present significant challenges to schools accepting those students in September," he said.
Mr Mongey is president of the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals (NAPD) and a principal at a west of Ireland school with more than 1,000 pupils.
He outlined the array of challenges facing school leaders ahead of re-opening but said “ a full return is what we are aiming for”.
The challenges include extra funding for cleaning, health and safety information supplied and additional staffing support to oversee the implementation of public health guidelines.
Ireland, which has recorded no new deaths from Covid-19 for two days, could run into trouble again if the weekend scenes of heaving revellers enjoying "takeaway pints" in Dublin city are repeated, public health doctors warned.