The situation across the education system is one of great anxiety and stress for school leaders, teachers, school staff, pupils and parents.

School staff are struggling in circumstances where staff absences arising from Covid-19 are making it impossible for many schools to function in a safe manner and satisfactory fashion, despite the endless claims to the contrary from others.

It is particularly disappointing for our hard-pressed members that additional mitigations were not put in place prior to Christmas given the situation we now find ourselves in was entirely predictable.

It seems clear to the NITC that DENI needs help, and to that end we have publishing a list of mitigations and recommendations (attached pdf) which we believe will go some way to restoring confidence across the education system.

The recommendations may not lead to the total eradication of the virus in our schools, but the enacting of the mitigations and recommendations will go a long way to alleviating the pressure our members are under.

We in the trade union movement are offering DE an alternative way forward which we believe serves not only our members but the entirety of the education system.

Read the full NITC statement below.

Northern Ireland

DE and the employing authorities need to more explicitly state what they consider to be appropriate circumstances in which a closure or partial closure is acceptable in the present Covid-19 pandemic.