Connect with us

darrens web page full of stuff to help people in health wealth & life in general

darrens web page full of stuff to help people in health wealth & life in general

Coronavirus: Caution urged over reopening of NI schools


Boris Johnson

Coronavirus: Caution urged over reopening of NI schools

Image copyright PA Media Image caption Schools in the Republic of Ireland will remain closed until September at the earliest Pupils should return to schools in a part-time, phased manner when they reopen, says a group representing British and Irish teaching unions.It has written to Education Minister Peter Weir urging “significant caution” before schools open…

Coronavirus: Caution urged over reopening of NI schools

Empty classroomImage copyright
PA Media

Image caption

Schools in the Republic of Ireland will remain closed until September at the earliest

Pupils should return to schools in a part-time, phased manner when they reopen, says a group representing British and Irish teaching unions.

It has written to Education Minister Peter Weir urging “significant caution” before schools open again.

Schools in Northern Ireland have been closed to all but a few pupils since late March due to the Covid-19 crisis.

First Minister Arlene Foster had previously said that was likely to last until the summer.

Schools in Wales may admit more pupils in early June, however, and Prime Minister Boris Johnson is also expected to set out a plan to reopen schools on a phased basis for some pupils in England.

Schools in the Republic of Ireland, though, will remain closed until September at the earliest.

Remote schooling?

The British and Irish Group of Teacher Unions (BIGTU) has written to Mr Weir setting out what conditions its members believe need to be met in Northern Ireland before schools reopen.

The group includes representatives from four of the five teaching unions in Northern Ireland – the UTU, INTO, NASUWT and NEU.

Image copyright
Getty Images

Image caption

Pupils are likely to have a mixture of school and remote learning even when schools reopen, Peter Weir has said

A premature reopening of schools risked causing a spike in the transmission of coronavirus, they wrote.

“We are convinced by the experience of other systems that a critical tool in preventing a surge of infection is an established capacity to ‘test trace and isolate; and we would argue that reopening schools before such a regime is in place would be catastrophic to the rate of infection,” they said.

Real Life. Real News. Real Voices

Help us tell more of the stories that matter

Become a founding member

Schools could only reopen and operate safely, added the letter, if there were significant operational changes in place to ensure:

  • Effective social distancing
  • Strong hygiene routines linked to thorough cleansing practices
  • Appropriate PPE available where required
  • Ongoing risk assessments to monitor operations

“This will mean that as schools cannot reopen as normal, a phased return will be required and priorities established around attendance, which is likely to be part-time for most pupils,” said the letter.

The group said that children from disadvantaged backgrounds and vulnerable children would need additional support.

They also called for the sharing of all available data informing decision-making on reopening schools.

Both Mr Weir and the permanent secretary at the Department of Education, Derek Baker, previously told assembly members on Stormont’s education committee that pupils were likely to have a mixture of school learning and remote learning even when schools did open again.

Subscribe to the newsletter news

We hate SPAM and promise to keep your email address safe

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Top stories

Donald Trump

VIDEO…

Donald Trump

VIDEO…

Facebook

To Top
%d bloggers like this: