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Wednesday 27 September 2023 Dublin: 12°C

# Back To School

This month
September 2023
Bus Éireann stands over ban on over-70s school bus drivers amid shortage
The school bus service is experiencing shortages of drivers as schools return for the academic year.
Driver shortages leave children without school bus for another week
Many parents who had paid for and received a ticket still don’t know whether there will be a space on a school bus for their child.
Warm weather for back to school, with temperatures up to 26 degrees
Tuesday will also be a warm day, with a few scattered showers.
Last month
August 2023
Over 250 parents contacted SVP every day last week about back-to-school costs
The charity is “hopeful” that the Government will make school books free at secondary level in the upcoming Budget.
Government urged to extend school books grant to secondary schools
The move follows the publication of a Barnardos survey earlier today which found that 24% of secondary school parents had to take out a loan or borrow from friends to cover back to school costs.
This year
Random school checks to be carried out to determine use of new free schoolbooks scheme
Schools were allocated up to €930 each to compensate staff for the time spent managing the government scheme.
Back to school: Costs going down but parents still going into debt
Parents have cut back significantly on extracurricular activities, while 13% are seeking loans to cover costs.
Last year
Free school books for primary school students in Budget education package
There has been widespread support for the announcement.
St Vincent de Paul received 30 calls an hour from parents unable to meet back to school costs
Many parents are struggling to make ends meet.
Poll: Have you noticed more traffic today?
Many schools are reopening today or later this week.
Therapist: Back-to-school anxiety is real for many pupils this week - here's how you can help
Susi Lodola writes about what causes anxiety in children, how to identify it and what you parents and guardians can do to help.
Difficulties in procuring extra buses and drivers for school transport scheme, says Foley
The Education Minister has said that there are plans to increase the capacity of the scheme amid unprecedented demand.
Most parents concerned about cost of sending children back to school, survey says
The survey found that parents were concerned about the costs amid the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.
Bonus back-to-school payment to be brought forward and paid next week
It was due to be paid in August.
Back to school costs: Parents spending €1,518 on average as Dáil hears calls for more action
The number of parents in debt over back to school costs has increased by 5% to 29%.
School transport fees to be waived for the year as Government announce back-to-school package
The proposal is set to cost €67 million.
'We've no way to buy cheaper uniforms': Parents facing price hikes ahead of new school term
Poverty campaigners and parents’ groups fear that back-to-school costs will be compounded this year by the cost-of-living crisis.
Poverty campaigners and parents’ groups frequently highlight the cost of going back to school every summer.
There are growing fears that the cost-of-living crisis will place an additional burden on parents, Emer Moreau writes.
Schools set to re-open on Thursday as safety measures deemed 'effective and appropriate'
Each of the three main teaching unions continued to express concerns about staffing.
The Department of Education said there was no public health rationale to delay the reopening.
The ASTI has said that some classes may be prioritised if adequate teaching staff was not available.
The leaders of the three government coalition parties also met this afternoon and green lit the plans for schools.
Genrui antigen tests: HPRA and company to investigate after multiple reports of false positives
Free antigen tests for symptomatic under-40s can now be ordered online
All time
Minister to meet with unions next week as 'plan is for schools to reopen'
The Christmas break will end for most schools next week.
Education Minister rejects accusation of ‘complacency’ over return of schools
Some opposition politicians were critical of what they labelled “confusing” guidance for when pupils are designated as close contacts.
Q&A: The latest Covid-19 protocols for secondary schools as students return to classes
Students across the country have been returning to school this week.
Hundreds of struggling parents call SVP everyday as back-to-school costs bite
The charity said the cost of iPads and tablets is a particular cause of concern.
832 outbreaks of Covid-19 in schools since last August, HSE reports
More than 46,000 Covid-19 cases have been recorded in children and teenagers up to July.
Most parents believe children will require additional supports when back to school - survey
63% were concerned about their children’s emotional development and 51% were concerned about social skills.
New Covid variants 'do not change' the measures needed in schools, Foley says
The department is planning for a “full reopening” of schools in August/September.
Minister seeks to 'reassure parents' that a full reopening of schools is planned
Minister Norma Foley said the return of children to the classroom for the new school term is a priority.
Parents spending almost €1,500 a year sending children to secondary school - survey
The average debt parents find themselves in is €336.
Remaining secondary students to return to school on 12 April
The last phase of the reopening will see first to fourth-year students return to in-person learning.
Schools: Phased reopening begins as Education Minister says antigen testing has not yet been recommended
Sixth years and young primary school students are among those who returned to school today.
Close-contact positivity something 'we really need to watch' as schools return
The so-called UK variant now accounts for about 92% of cases in this country.
Cabinet sub-committee gives green light for phased reopening of schools in March and April
It’s understood it’s likely there will be little easing of restrictions until May.
More than 4,000 children and teachers tested for Covid-19 since schools opened
HSE CEO Paul Reid said there have been 180 index cases, with a further 84 linked to those.
Over 3,000 students turned down for school bus tickets, according to new figures
TD Mattie McGrath said that the ‘archaic’ system was facing a worrying backlog.
'It's a huge risk': Pregnant teaching staff say they've been left in the dark over the return of schools
Many teachers complain they’ve received little guidance or assurances about how pregnant staff will be looked after.
Is your child worried about going to school? An expert has some tips for parents
Many children, and parents, are anxious about schools reopening.
'For the love of God': Anger as shed to be used as Covid-19 isolation room at Athlone school
The school’s principal said the situation is “not ideal”.
'It's up to everyone to try their best to get this right': Inside a Wicklow school preparing to reopen
We paid a socially distant visit to St Kevin’s Community College in Dunlavin.
Return to school: Two-thirds of principals say they have teachers with underlying health issues
Second-level schools should delay reopening if they can’t implement social distancing, according to the TUI.
New cough, stay at home. Runny nose, attend school: HSE releases new advice for parents
The advice notes that: “Every year, schoolchildren get colds, flu and other infections”.
NI schools to re-open today despite concerns from teachers about Covid-19
The North’s chief medical officer Dr Michael McBride has insisted it is safe to return.