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Education Minister | Discussions ongoing to alleviate current pressures in schools

Education Minister Michelle McIlveen has issued a statement this evening (Tuesday 7 September) addressing the ongoing situation in schools across Northern Ireland.

McIlveen said that discussions are ongoing between the Department of Education and the Department of Health in a bid to tackle disturbances in children’s education due to current guidance on self-isolation after Covid close contact.

The rules have meant that some schools have seen over half their pupils self-isolating at home as the school year has just commenced.

Commenting on the current situation in relation to the impact of COVID-19 on schools, Education Minister Michelle McIlveen said:

“Detailed discussions are ongoing between my Department and the Department of Health on measures to alleviate current pressures facing our schools as a result of COVID-19.

“Proposals are being finalised and will be discussed with relevant stakeholders this week.

“I recognise that the start of the new school year has been stressful for parents, children and school staff.

“The public health grounds for keeping and supporting children at school are very strong in terms of supporting their education and emotional well-being.

“The risk of COVID-19 infection in any setting cannot be entirely eradicated but it can be reduced. Schools have a range of mitigations in place to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission in school. These include additional cleaning and hand hygiene, ventilation, the use of face coverings and regular asymptomatic testing.”

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