The key points of the supplementary guidance are:

  • All Public Health measures must be adhered to.
  • Principals are reminded to continually review and revise COVID-19 risk assessment - this may necessitate the need to move to blended learning approaches and/or a reduced day in order to maintain a safe working environment.
  • The Minister states that he has made the case strongly for vaccination of school staff with priority given to those teachers and staff supporting Special Schools, as the vaccination programme rolls out.
  • DE is engaging with the Department of Health regarding a PHA proposal to commence a programme of voluntary weekly asymptomatic testing for Special School staff and pupils.
  • The Department issued updated PHA guidance (4 January 2021) to educational settings on safe working during the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak.
  • The EA is considering the use of additional schools transport to negate the mixing of bubbles and or schools on school transport.
  • The Department is to strengthen messaging around the use of parental transport to school, where possible, and provide information on cleaning regimes for school transport.

Members in Special schools with concerns can contact us.