CONFIRMED: Schools reopening from August 24 - NI Education Minister

Schools have been tasked to prepare for the return of children from August 24, Stormont has confirmed.

Friday, 19th June 2020, 8:29 am

Pupils in Years 7, 12 and 14 will return to school from this date on a phased basis and their schools are now being advised to plan on the basis of pupils observing 1 metre distancing when they return.

Meanwhile it has now been confirmed that the Eat Well, Live Well programme will ensure children who receive free school meals will have at least one good meal during the summer holidays during July and August.

With the end of the school year approaching, there will be the limited resumption of youth summer programmes prioritising children with educational needs and the children of key workers.

St Columb’s College Derry. DER2320GS - 001

In addition to special schools provision over the summer and key worker children being given priority on youth schemes, Education Minister Peter Weir revealed he was considering bringing forward projects to support learning for children over the summer and beyond, subject to funding.

Minister Weir said: “I want to give as many pupils as possible the opportunity to access learning over the summer months. To that end, I am setting out a range of proposals which will include virtual classrooms and short summer schools for P5, P6 and P7 children, where schools wish to run them.

“My department and I will continue to engage with school leaders, teachers and the youth service on how we might best support these measures, the uptake of which will be purely on a voluntary basis.

“I will also bring forward a project called ‘Engage’ to provide literacy and numeracy support; mental health interventions and the widening of nurture support for the 2020/21 academic year for primary and post-primary schools in socially deprived areas.

“Our children and young people need our support more than ever and I hope these steps will help them as we continue to find our way through these very difficult times.”