Tipperary primary principal says there’s too much uncertainty around return to school

A local primary school principal says it’s difficult enough organising for teachers to come into the school, let alone children.

Louise Tobin of St Joseph’s in Tipperary Town was speaking after conflicting advice was given yesterday about children returning to school.

A World Health Organisation expert says they should, while an Irish expert says it’s too risky.

Speaking to Tipp FM, Louise said there are a lot of unknowns at the moment:

“There’s so much uncertainty. I suppose, that’s the bottom line. Since Monday school staff can now access the school and in fairness the guidance document that’s been issued is quite good. But even to get the staff back in safely, with the duty of care that you have to them, was quite a bit of work.

“On Monday, I spent a few hours putting together different signage. There’s quite explicit rules – they have to pre-book with me, they have to link in with the caretaker, there’s one entry and one exit point, they have to wash their hands, sign in and sign out, and list the rooms they’ve been into.”

However, she says it is important that teachers are able to access the buildings and some of her staff have been doing so this week:

“There are particular books they want to find. Some of the children haven’t got internet access or haven’t devices at home so we’re sending them work packs. That’s working out quite costly if you’re doing that from your home printer. So teachers want to get in and use the photocopier.

“And, in fairness, we’re only talking about going into the school for a very short period of time. We’re not going in working their all day and having our lunches.

“I’m limiting it to two teachers per day, maximum.”