The Minister has written to all schools in NI.

Please note the following points:

  • Schools are closed to all pupils. Principals should only bring staff into school during optional and exceptional closure days where they are unable to work from home. As this is an extension of the half-term break, it is not intended to be used for remote learning.
  • All school staff will be paid as normal including support staff and any substitute teacher who was booked to work during this extended half-term.
  • In relation to the point above DE have added the following clarification "The overall societal position of “work from home where possible” applies here. The intent of this was to reinforce the point that it is not expected that staff would be in school unless the Principal has essential work which needs to be completed before 2 November and cannot be done from home. This is absolutely not a call for staff to be brought into school but it does allow Principal’s the flexibility to utilise staff in the building for essential work where there is no other choice."

Real the full text of the letter below

Northern Ireland
Letter to Schools Oct 2020

Education settings will be closed to all pupils during these two weeks including for vulnerable children and children of key workers.  Schools and other settings will reopen on Monday, 2 November.

NEU webinar - schools restart

We are going ahead with our scheduled NEU webinar on 21 October. In light of today’s NI Executive announcement of tighter restrictions and an extended half term holiday break (closing on 19 October and reopening on Monday 2 November) the discussion is more relevant now that ever.  

First Minister states that to date there have been 485 Covid-19 incidents in schools (some are single Covid case).

The PHA assessment is that there is ‘limited circulation’ in school settings but work needs to be done in respect of school (and public) transport and ‘school gate’ interaction where more work needs to be done to mitigate the risk.

We suspect that this does not reflect the reality in schools who have need to react to suspected and positive cases leading to isolation of staff, pupils, bubbles, year groups, as well as whole school closures.

We would welcome any questions that you would like to ask the panel or comments before the session to allow our panel members the opportunity to prepare a response.

Please email any questions or comments to NEU NI Regional Office  by 4:00pm Monday 19 October.