Tuesday, 28 July 2020

Questions (438)

Patrick O'Donovan

Question:

438. Deputy Patrick O'Donovan asked the Minister for Education and Skills if the shorter school day for junior infants (details supplied) will be re-examined; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [18144/20]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

Under the provisions of the Education Act 1998, the Board of Management is the body charged with the direct governance of a school. Circular 11/95 “Time in School” paragraph 3 states that a typical school day for Junior classes is 4 hours and 40 minutes and Senior classes 5 hours and 40 minutes with appropriate recreation i.e. 30 minutes.   

Children in infant classes may have a school day that is one hour shorter than the length of the normal school day. This is a concession in the interests of young children and allows for a perceived inability on their part to sustain the work of the full day. The decision to apply this concession rests with the Board of Management. Such decisions should be dictated by the educational interests of the children. 

There is a focus in the documentation on welcoming junior infants to schools and a wide range of resources and support materials have been provided by the Department of Education as well as the Department of Children, Disability, Equality and Integration to support this group.