EA has range of advice on new school year for Derry & Strabane families

With around 350,000 young people in the North preparing to start another school year, the Education Authority (EA) has a range of information, support and advice available.

Wednesday, 1st September 2021, 11:29 am

The information is all available through the EA website and social media channels.

It covers a range of areas, including school transport, free school meals, uniform grants, admissions and Special Educational Needs.

The majority of children will return to school this week.

Students are returning to school this week.

EA Chief Executive, Sara Long, said that starting school, especially for the first time, was both a very exciting and nerve-racking time.

“We also know that planning for a new school year can be a stressful time for parents/guardians, so we want to remind you that the Education Authority is here to help support you.

“We have set up a number of dedicated helplines and there is a range of information, including Frequently Asked Question’s (FAQ’s), on our website to help ensure that any queries you may have are addressed quickly,” she said.

The EA Chief Executive also said that there had been extensive work over the past number of months, working closely with schools, parents/guardians and educational partners, to support the restart of education and to welcome children and young people back to school.

“Our 44,000 workforce of teachers, teaching assistants, cleaners, bus drivers, planners, youth workers, social workers and many more have been very busy getting ready to support children, young people and their families get off to the very best start.

“Some of the ways we are doing this include: getting ready to transport 86,000 pupils and Further Education students to school and college every day – that’s the equivalent of filling Croke Park or Wembley Stadium – and to do this we run the second largest bus fleet in Northern Ireland.

“A significant investment in Special Educational Needs which means additional classes, teachers and classroom assistants; Ensuring around 100,000 young people have access to free school meals and also to uniform grants.

“We also continue to work very closely with the Department of Education, schools and health colleagues, in line with the very latest guidance and public health advice on Covid-19 measures, to keep our children and young people and staff safe,” she said.

Ms Long added: “We are incredibly proud of all of our children and young people, principals, teachers, classroom assistants and all of our staff who have continued to provide vital support day in day out in significantly challenging circumstances over the last 18 months.

The EA Chief Executive said that: “Working together, we continue to strive to inspire, support and challenge our children and young people to be the best that they can be, and to help support our workforce and our school communities to operate safely and successfully.”

For more information, support and advice about children returning to school visit: www.eani.org.uk/backtoschool