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Fee-paying schools forgotten about in Covid package for school supports

Ronan Mullen


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On the front line: Principals and teachers at fee-paying schools will have the stress of making Covid safety arrangements without any extra support from the State

On the front line: Principals and teachers at fee-paying schools will have the stress of making Covid safety arrangements without any extra support from the State

On the front line: Principals and teachers at fee-paying schools will have the stress of making Covid safety arrangements without any extra support from the State

A decision that caused shockwaves throughout the country's 51 fee-charging secondary schools has received no coverage in the media.

In late July, the Department of Education unveiled its Covid package of supports to help schools to reopen safely. This was worked out in consultation with the 'education partners' (teacher unions, schools managers, etc). But when the package was published, there was an unexpected clause - the grants would not go to schools charging fees.

The money involved is significant. A 600-pupil school might expect to get €200,000, including a grant of €70,000 for 'minor works' to get as many students back into classrooms while observing the one-metre rule, €63,000 for extra supervision, €35,000 for more teaching hours, €20,000 for cleaning and so on.