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Children 'will not lose out' on learning says determined principal


Fintan McCutcheon

Fintan McCutcheon

Fintan McCutcheon

As schools nationwide closed their doors last week due to the recent outbreak of the coronavirus, the Fingal Independent spoke to one Balbriggan school determined not to allow recent events cause undue disruption to its students.

Balbriggan Educate Together has offered parents 'complete assurance' that children will not lose out academically due to the recent closure of the school, which will now not re-open until March 29 or beyond, along with schools, childcare facilities and colleges across the country.

Speaking last week on the day of school closures on Thursday March 12, Balbriggan Educate Together Principal, Mr Fintan McCutcheon, explained how he heard the news, and his determination that recent events would have minimal impact on the school.

He said: 'I was at an Educate Together principal conference on the issue, and we watched Leo's (Leo Varadkar's) tweet and communication live and responded then immediately.

'We were surprised to hear the news because we had no indication prior to this. We have been planning quietly for it in the background ourselves assuming that it would happen but it came as a surprise in its timing.

'I feel that in the interest of public health that it is a good decision, but of course it has huge inconveniences for parents, and I do feel very sorry for parents with the difficulty of childminding and the safety of their children etc.'

Principal McCutcheon continued: 'We're determined that it will impact minimally and we would certainly be very anxious to ensure in the long run the children do not miss out.

'We have had the full co-operation of our parent body in recent weeks, and our parents have been fully co-operating with every update that we've given to them.'

Mr McCutcheon said he was encouraging children to read at home, and should the current closure extend beyond March 29, hat he would be directing parents with regards to their children's learning.

'The bottom line', he said, was that the school was offering 'complete assurance' to parents to ensure their children do not suffer academically, and that there will be plenty of 'catch-up' and extra support when the school finally re-opens.

Fingal Independent