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Wexford primary school reopens its doors after Government intervention

A Wexford primary school that closed its doors earlier this week due to a COVID outbreak is reopening this morning.
Michael Staines
Michael Staines

08.11 20 Oct 2021


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Wexford primary school reopens...

Wexford primary school reopens its doors after Government intervention

Michael Staines
Michael Staines

08.11 20 Oct 2021


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A Wexford primary school that closed its doors earlier this week due to a COVID outbreak is reopening this morning.

CBS Primary School in Wexford decided to shut on Sunday evening and move to online learning after more than 30 cases were detected.

The Department of Education last night instructed the school to reopen after a lengthy meeting of the Board of Management.

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It will be open to its 270 students this morning; however, Wexford TD Verona Murphy said will not be going back today.

“My information from the number of parents I have spoken to is that they won’t be sending their children to school,” she said.

“There are a number of reasons for that. They are supporting the principal in that they believe the stance she has taken is correct but equally they have children who are vulnerable with conditions such as asthmas and they won’t be sending their children to school.”

She said the situation opens questions about who is ultimately responsible for the children’s safety – the school or the Government.

“The Department of Education has instructed the school to reopen and take the children in. I think what we do have to clarify here is who is ultimately responsible for the health and safety of the children – whether it is the department or whether it is the board of management.

“Ultimately, the board of management here took a decision on health and safety grounds took a decision to close the school due to the number of COVID cases arising.”

In a tweet this morning, school principal Vicky Barron said the school would not be pressuring parents into a decision one way or the other.

“Today some parents will choose to send their children in and some will not,” she said.

“We will not bully anyone into making either decision. Parents have the autonomy to do what is right for their child. We respect that. They trust us and know we care. And today ... we will just do our best.”

On The Hard Shoulder earlier this week, she said 19 children in one class had tested positive for the virus.

She said the school went from having one confirmed case on a Monday to 30 by the Friday.

She criticised the lack of HSE contact tracing, noting that the school had to rely on information from parents to get a full idea of the scale of the outbreak.

Recent changes to contact tracing rules mean children who are close contacts of a confirmed case do not need to restrict their movements, as long as they don't have symptoms.

Contact tracing of close contacts in primary schools and testing of asymptomatic close contacts are also no longer required.

 


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