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“Reopening schools is good for all concerned” – says Education Minister

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“There’s a huge body of work to be done by schools before they reopen next month," the newly appointed Minister for Education said when she spoke exclusively to the Killarney Advertiser this week.

By Michelle Crean

Norma Foley, TD, who is currently head of one of the busiest Government departments, this week announced a €376 million fund for the ‘Reopening Our Schools – The Roadmap for the Full Return to School’ to help schools navigate the complexities of reopening next month following the abrupt shutdown in March.

And as schools get to grips with the new guidelines and begin to implement the necessary changes to safely bring children back into education, she said that there’s “a shared objective to fully reopen schools”.

Guidelines include children in primary and secondary schools being placed in ‘bubbles’ and pods meaning they’ll be placed in smaller groups and have to stay within this to minimise any potential spread of the virus, cleaning budgets have been approved as well as the addition of 1,080 additional teachers and 120 Guidance Counsellors.

“The funding has been broadly welcomed,” Minister Foley told the Killarney Advertiser.

“There’s a huge body of work to be done and all funding supports are available to schools.”

FUNDING

On Monday evening, the Department of Education announced that it is providing capital and current funding of over €376 million to support the safe and sustainable reopening of schools.

The package includes an additional 1,080 teaching posts at post-primary level at a cost of €53 million, to include 120 guidance posts to support student well-being, an initial allocation of over 600 posts to be made available to post-primary schools and remaining posts will be used to support post-primary schools experiencing particular difficulties to reopen fully and adhere to physical distancing and class sizes.

Additional funding of an estimated €84.7 million has been given so schools can employ replacement teaching staff, SNA and administrative staff. Funding of €41.2 million to provide primary schools with substitute staff, €40m to provide post-primary schools with additional supervision of students, an additional €52 million for schools to put in place enhanced cleaning and hygiene measures to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission in schools is being provided on a per-pupil basis and is intended to allow an additional four to six hours cleaning per day in schools.

The fund will also provide all teaching principals at primary level with a minimum of one release day per week to relieve the administrative burden arising from the changes, the impacts of COVID-19 and a new measure to provide deputy principals with some release days, ranging from five days to 16 days depending on the school size, to support administrative principals.

A €75 million capital allocation has been given to support schools to prepare buildings and classrooms for reopening, €4.2 million to enable schools to employ an aide to implement the logistical changes needed in schools – moving furniture, changing classroom layouts, set up hand sanitising stations, signage etc., and €3.8m to provide release time for each school to have a lead worker representative, whose role is to support the school to manage the risk of COVID-19 infections.

COMPREHENSIVE PLAN

The Minister said it is a comprehensive plan for the year ahead which she has worked on with the relevant stakeholders from parents to students, principals, teachers, SNAs and boards of management.

“It’s so important that all are included. There’s a shared objective that the schools will fully reopen and this was discussed. There’s a short window of everything that needs to be done.“

And, she added that there’s a particular emphasis being placed on well-being for the coming year.

“There’s a very definite curriculum being advised for individual responsibility, class responsibility, and whole school responses for students.“

She added that she’s “honoured to be in a position to make a contribution” to the safe return for students and staff across the country but emphasised that “it’s a team effort”.

“Wider society wants to see the schools reopen for the children and young people that there would a be a safe return. It’s good for all concerned. The goodwill and the finance is there for it.”

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Fat dissolving injections target stubborn areas

By Jill O’Donoghue from Killarney Toning and Beauty Studio It may sound too good to be true but fat dissolving injections are as effective as the name suggests. They are […]

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By Jill O’Donoghue from Killarney Toning and Beauty Studio

It may sound too good to be true but fat dissolving injections are as effective as the name suggests.

They are administered by our in-house Dr. Micheal Flynn who has been attending our salon for the past 10 years. It is the double chin and neck area that is treated and is suitable for both men and women. If you haven’t heard of fat dissolving, it is a very popular and relatively new treatment that is used to target stubborn pockets of fat on the jaw line and chin area. The injection dissolves and eliminates fat cells in a safe and effective way, making it perfect for dealing with stubborn fat that simply won’t budge with exercise.

The main ingredient is a fat dissolving substance sodium deoxycholate, which is found naturally in the body. This is injected into the treatment area which over time will destroy the fat cells. These are then removed from the body by its own lymphatic system, a complex network that rids the body of unwanted toxins and waste.

It is important to understand that fat dissolving injections are not a weight loss treatment. The injections should only be used on people who are a healthy size or carrying a little extra weight. It’s most effective on the pockets of fat stored under the jawline, known as the double chin, a migration of fat cells from the cheeks to the jaw line.

The injections work at a slow pace. It can take serval weeks for full results, but once it’s gone, it’s gone. The results are permanent, once you don’t gain a massive amount of weight.

The next clinic is Monday August 22. To book an appointment or more information, call Jill on 064 6632966.

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Classic tractor drivers to embark on 400km drive to Killarney

By Sean Moriarty Six members of the Killarney Valley Classic and Vintage Club will set out from County Meath on Wednesday on vintage tractors. They are participating in the annual […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Six members of the Killarney Valley Classic and Vintage Club will set out from County Meath on Wednesday on vintage tractors.

They are participating in the annual Eastern Vintage Club’s Ring of Kerry Tractor Run which is raising funds for the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association.

Over 50 vintage tractors, including the six Killarney examples, will leave Nobber in County Meath at lunchtime on Wednesday.

After an overnight stop in the midlands on Wednesday night and Newcastle West on Thursday night, the tractors are expected in Killarney town centre just after lunchtime on Friday.

The ‘spectacular show’, now a regular feature of the Killarney summer, will bring the town to a standstill for around one hour.

On Saturday morning the group will depart Tony Wharton’s farm in Fossa before a nine-hour drive around the Ring of Kerry.

The run will finish with a spectacular drive through the Gap of Dunloe.

“We hope to pass through town around 3.30pm on Friday,” said local organiser, Tom Wharton, who is one of the six Killarney-based drivers who will undertake the 400km journey from County Meath to Killarney. “It is always a spectacular show.”

On arrival in Killarney, tractors will be joined by a group of classic cars that will depart Nobber at 9am that morning.

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