Minister says massive logistical work required to reopen schools in September

It is unlikely that primary schools will reopen in June, the general secretary of the Irish National Teachers Organisation (INTO) John Boyle has said.
Getting children back to school in September will be a mammoth planning task he told RTÉ radios Morning Ireland.
With 20 school days to go before the summer break it would be very difficult for schools to reopen, even on a phased basis.
Mr Boyle warned that it may not be possible for all children to return at the same time in September as there will be logistical issues particularly in rural Ireland where many children travel to school by bus.
Ireland has the largest school classes in Europe so it would not be possible for all pupils to return at the same time, he added. There will also have to be changes on school campuses which parents will not be able to access in the same way they did previously.
If the Leaving Cert could not go ahead, Mr Boyle said he could not see how it would be possible for groups of younger children to return to school.
Children with complex educational needs will be provided for through summer programmes.
The INTO has been engaging with stakeholders to prepare for the return of children to school, and to see if it would be possible for all children to return at the same time.
The teachers union is certainly up for that challenge, he added.
His comments come after the National Public Health Emergency Team said on Wednesday that it does not see schools returning before September.
Asked about calls for the reopening of schools to be considered, deputy chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn told the press briefing that Irelands peak in cases occurred quite a bit later than in many other countries, some of which were now reopening schools or crèches.
This delay gave us the opportunity to get ready for a surge in cases and now that the curve was on the way back down, it afforded Ireland the opportunity to learn from other countries experience.
He added: As things currently stand, we dont envisage schools coming back before September.
The deaths of another 11 patients with Covid-19 were reported by NPHET on Wednesday. There have now been a total of 1,571 Covid-19 related deaths in the Republic.
A total of 64 new laboratory confirmed cases of the disease was reported by NPHET at its daily briefing, bringing the total number of cases to 24,315. This is the fifth day in a row in which the daily case number has remained below 100.
Meanwhile, Minister for Education Joe McHugh said massive logistical work is required in order to reopen schools in time for September.
Mr McHugh said it was clear that a one size fits all approach will not apply because of the diversity of school and education settings.
He said he was examining the possibility of opening schools on a very limited in July or August as part of a summer scheme of support for children with disabilities or those in disadvantaged areas, but only subject to public health advice.
This could form part of a re-vamped July provision model in which children with disabilities receive additional tuition, either in the home or in school settings.
Áine Lynch, chief executive of the National Parents Council Primary, said a decision to keep schools closed until September was made at a time when public health conditions were worse than they are now.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) special envoy on Covid-19 also said it is was time to think about reopening schools in Ireland.
Mr McHugh, however, said opening schools needs to be carefully managed and planning is under way for the reopening of educational institutions from the beginning of September, in consultation with stakeholders and with regard to the experience of other countries.