CORONAVIRUS COVID – 19
RESOURCES FOR PARENTS & GUARDIANS
Covid-19 Wellbeing for Children and Young People CYPSC March 2020
Hello I am a virus
UPDATES FOR SCHOOLS
25 March 2020
Dear Principal and Teachers
I refer to my letter to you all of the 13 March, following the decision to close schools to
students announced by the Taoiseach on 12 March. In my letter I asked you all, as
school staff, to work to put in place arrangements to continue the delivery of education
to our students in these extraordinary times. As teachers and principals you play an
important role in young people’s lives and ongoing support from you during the current
public health crisis is vital.
I want to acknowledge and thank you for the huge work that you have undertaken
since then to provide continuity of learning for students through online platforms, email
and other resources, particularly where access to digital resources is more limited. I
also want to acknowledge the work undertaken by other staff to support this effort
through, for example, making school buildings available to teachers to access material
and IT resources. This work is critical to supporting students and their ongoing learning
and is very much appreciated.
As you will have heard there has been a further announcement by the Taoiseach that,
in line with public health advice, schools will remain closed until 19 April.
In addition to maintaining ongoing engagement with students, one really important
message you can assist with, is to convey to students, the absolute need to practice
social and physical distancing, and to minimise physical contact with each other, to
help avoid the spread of Covid-19. This should include advice to avoid meeting up and
in all circumstances to adhere to HSE guidelines. As part of your school community,
parents and guardians should also be urged to support their children to maintain the
restrictions on congregating for the safety of all in their community.
In order to support you in getting this important public health message across to your
school communities information notices (in 17 different languages) are available here:
The Department is working to put in place more guidance and support for teaching and
learning in the context of the current school closures. It is important to ensure that all
students are supported in a planned and consistent way to continue their learning.
However we appreciate that you are best placed to know your own students and to use
the suite of resources available to you, both digital and any other means, to actively
engage with your own students in a tailored manner.
A collaborative effort, involving the Department, management bodies and other
partners is underway to develop further support and advice and this will be made
available on an ongoing basis.
This is an evolving situation and it is vital that as the education system continues to be
in a position to respond to the latest public health advice as it emerges. Education
continuity is critical, in this crisis, for students at all levels of the education sector. In
that respect, all schools are expected to proactively ensure that all of their staff
contribute to the continuation of educational provision for their students during this
period. In this regard although schools are closed to students, teachers who need
access to their classrooms, ICT equipment or other teaching resources can attend the
school building, once HSE advice is correctly observed.
As outlined previously Scoilnet has a number of home usage supports for teachers and
students to benefit from and Scoilnet will be updating the material available on its
In addition the Professional Development Service for Teachers (PDST) Digital
Technology team has developed a new dedicated webpage of curated content to
support schools and teachers engaged in distance learning in order to provide
continuity to pupils/students. The page can be accessed at:
This is a very challenging time for schools, teachers, students and parents. It is critical
that during these challenging times we continue to work together and that the focus of
all is on the best possible outcomes for our students. The support of everyone across
the sector is vital, as we all strive to ensure that this public health threat is dealt with as
effectively as possible. The guidance provided by the National Educational
Psychological Service (NEPS) of this Department for parents, for young people and for
teachers is also being updated on an ongoing basis, and is available at
The Department of Education and Skills, its agencies and support services, will remain
available providing advice and supports to the education sector at this time.
Seán Ó Foghlú
24 March, 2020 – Covid-19 Statement from the Department of Education and Skills
All schools, pre-schools and further and higher education settings will remain closed to students until 19 April 2020.
The decision has been taken following advice from the NPHET (National Public Health Emergency Team) as part of efforts to contain the spread of Covid-19.
All young people and children are urged to practice social distancing, and to minimise physical contact to keep themselves and others healthy and to limit the spread of infection. This should include minimising social contact, avoiding meeting up and keeping physical space of two metres between each other. Parents and guardians are urged to support young people and children to follow those simple guidelines.
Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh TD said: “This is an extremely difficult time for everyone, not least students and their parents.
“The decision to keep schools closed until after the Easter break is based on public health advice. It is a hugely important aspect of our continued effort to limit the spread of Covid-19.
“My message to students facing exams is that they should keep focused, keep working and try, as much as possible, to prepare as normal for the state exams. We are doing everything in our power to make sure those exams happen.
“Teachers and students have answered the call to remote learning with exceptional flexibility and adaptability. You are all a credit to the education system.
“I am also deeply conscious of significant work being done to ensure continuity of learning across our higher and further education institutions. The impact of emergency measures has not stopped education, it has inspired innovation and we are indebted to all those continuing to provide education in these trying times.”