Dear Parents,

Myself and Ms. Sweeney have been working tirelessly in an attempt to provide a Summer Programme for our children. Since the Minister of Education announcement on Friday 12th stating that the Summer Programme 2020 is available to all pupils attending our school which caters for 215 students – one of the largest in the country I have held my head in despair as to how we could possibly manage to run this programme safely in line with Public Health guidance!!!! But we will endeavour to do our best as we know how important it is to our children’s wellbeing.

The Minister does not know our school and there has been no consultation and many of my questions are still unanswered (re 2 meter social distancing etc) The programme can only run in line Public Health Guidelines as they currently stand which is the 2 m distancing rule, in light of the profile of our students and the number of families who have expressed an interest we feel it is impossible that the 2 m distancing rule  be applied in our situation and we are seeking clarity around this.

We are working on securing staff to run the programme.

We have been informed that the DES/Bus Eireann will NOT be providing buses to transport students to the school. Parents will be grant aided to transport their children should the programme run.

Many parents will not be in a position to provide transport for their children due to a myriad of reasons e.g. distance from the school, lack of a vehicle/driving ability, other children needing to be cared for at home, other work commitments. This would limit these families ability to attend. If the school is open for school based July then the parents not in a position to transport children to school cannot apply for home based programme.

Under the new Summer Programme the  23 new children enrolled for September are eligible to attend school in Scoil Chormaic for the July Programme thus increasing numbers putting a strain on resources (staff and physical space)

We want to be upfront with parents as we know how important this support is and we will continue to explore all options. I am having a Board Of Management Meeting today 16th June and I will update you as soon as I can.

I have shared the email and attachments from Department of Education that I received yesterday.

Best wishes,

Ms. Lowry

Please see email received and attachments below:

Re: Summer Provision 2020 Reconnecting with Education 

Dear Principal,

I refer to the recent Government announcement in relation to a joint initiative between the DES/HSE to provide education and health programmes for children with complex needs over the summer.

As a Special School/Primary School with special classes you are pre-approved to provide the programme to all children enrolled in or transitioning into your school/special classes.

Please register your interest here confirming your intention to participate in the summer education programme and your intention to make your school available to the HSE for any periods in July/August where your school is not been used for education purposes. 

Education programme

The education programme is provided in the context of school closures associated with Covid-19 and the Department has provided guidance for schools on the content (see attached guidance for a Summer Programme) 

With regard to staffing and funding the new summer education programme operates in the same manner as the school based July provision scheme offered in previous years. (see attached staffing info, FAQS, T&CS etc.)

The Department will provide grant funding to support the parents of children who are eligible for school transport with the cost of transport arrangements to participate in the school based summer programme.

Detailed public health guidance is being compiled at present and will be made available before the schemes commence, to enable appropriate planning to take place.

Health programme

In relation to the health lead programme, the HSE is seeking access to school buildings for any periods in July/August that schools are not using them for education purposes.  The programme will be led by HSE staff.

Schools that make their building available to the HSE will be required to open / close the premises and provide appropriate cleaning after each session i.e. mid-day and evening.  Capitation funding to meet the associated costs will be provided by the Department of Education and Skills. (see attached info from the HSE)

If you have any questions please send them by email to Schoolsummerprogramme@education.gov.ie

Yours sincerely

Eddie Ward Principal officer

Special Education Section

Terms and Conditions – School Based July Programme 2020

HSE Programme

Frequently Asked Questions – School Based July Programme 2020