INTO Northern Secretary, Gerry Murphy has restated his views on the Department of Education’s proposals to canvas schools on the Minster’s proposals to hold summer schools.

Mr Murphy remains firm in his view that such summer schools are educationally dubious, a poor use of scarce resources and an additional burden for an already exhausted profession to be asked to consider.

My advice to principals and teachers faced with this consideration is to give very serious thought to their own needs before undertaking to provide what the Minister is proposing. They have already been working at a frenetic pace from 23rd March to ensure that continuity of learning is maintained for all our children and young people whist simultaneously ensuring that the children of key workers have been accommodated within schools to enable their parents to continue the essential work of supporting the wider community. This double jobbing has been a tremendous strain on the whole profession.

With the schools proposed to be re-opened the week commencing 17th August I wonder how the principals and teachers are expected to be rested and refreshed to face into what is shaping up to be a very difficult period ahead. As for the children, are they too to be denied vital time to just be children and enjoy their summer break?

I recommend the principals and teachers put themselves and their families first and enjoy a well-earned break allowing them to come back to their schools in late August re-invigorated for the work ahead.