COVID -19 advice and guidance from the Department of Education.
***Update on the 21st and 22nd May 2020***
Minister Weir outlines plans to provide digital devices to disadvantaged children
Proposals to lend digital devices to school children have been outlined by Education Minister, Peter Weir.
During the current Covid-19 pandemic, schools have been closed except for vulnerable children and the children of key workers. Teachers have continued educating pupils through remote learning. You can read more information on the department website here and the full letter directed to schools here.
You can also find a detailed statement from the Education Minister to the Ad Hoc Committee at the department website here.
We will update this page as and when we receive information from the Department of Education, but please note the “updated” date at the top of the page. Any communication from the Department of Education on the ongoing situation should be consulted in the first instance.
In regards to training events through NICIE, conferences etc, we will update the relevant pages on our website and post notification via social media as well as notify attendees via email and/or phone where possible. If you are unsure about a course or meeting please contact us.
Update on the 20th May.
Guidance to schools on Assessment and school reports
The Minister has agreed to significantly reduce the prescribed reporting
requirements and provide a temporary legislative basis that will enable
principals to decide the content and format of reports. You can read more information here
Update on 19th May.
Income Support Scheme for substitute teachers
Education Minister Peter Weir has announced a scheme to help support substitute teachers during the Covid-19 crisis. Substitute teachers have been unable to access secure work as schools are closed except for vulnerable children and those of key workers. You can read more here.
Executive Daily Update: Initiatives to deal with Coronavirus (18 May 2020)
Northern Ireland Executive ministers and their officials have over the past 72 hours been involved in a number of initiatives and critical decisions relating to the Coronavirus emergency.
Socially distanced gatherings of up to six people will be permitted and places of worship can be reopened for acts of individual prayer under the latest round of Covid-19 lockdown restrictions to be lifted by Ministers.
Read more here
Update on the 15th May
Covid-19 childcare sector support scheme open.
Following the joint announcement by Education Minister Peter Weir and Health Minister Robin Swann of a £12m package of measures to support the childcare sector, the scheme is now open to eligible childcare providers.You can find full information here: https://www.education-ni.gov.uk/news/covid-19-childcare-sector-support-scheme-open
Safer Schools App.
The Department of Education Northern Ireland ‘Safer Schools’ digital safeguarding app is available, for the first time, to children and young people in Northern Ireland. More information can be found here: https://www.education-ni.gov.uk/news/safer-schools-app-launched-children-and-young-people
Update on the 27th April
COVID-19 Testing: Testing is available for principals, teaching, non-teaching and support staff in schools that are currently open or intend to open for vulnerable children and children of key workers if you meet criteria as set out in the guidance available here: https://www.publichealth.hscni.net/covid-19-coronavirus/coronavirus-national-testing-programme-key-workers
A map of school’s open for supervised learning, provided by the Education Authority, can be found here: https://eani.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=29955f42f6cd4a14a071d6d3dede8003
The Minister launched the Department of Education’s app on the Safer Schools
platform which has been provided by iNEQE Safeguarding Group on a trial basis
during this COVID-19 crisis on the 10th April. You can find information on it here.
In addition to the call for volunteers to support schools during this ongoing COVID-19 situation (see updates below) you can find an online application form if you are interested: http://apps.education-ni.gov.uk/appc19vol/default.aspx
The Minister for Education also updated their guidance on support for Vulnerable Children and Young People on the 10th April. This is a more in depth guide than previously released: https://www.education-ni.gov.uk/publications/guidance-vulnerable-children-and-young-people-10-april-2020
The Education Authority website also holds useful information for parents and schools alike, and is constantly updated: https://www.eani.org.uk/school-management/health-safety/covid-19-coronavirus
The EA website especially has information for “Key Workers” who need to find a place for their child/children in a school during this period: https://www.eani.org.uk/key-workers including an application form that can be accessed via this link for parents/guardians to request supervised learning for children where their normal school isn’t open.
The Department of Education had previously released an updated FAQ for schools opening for children of “Key Workers”: https://www.education-ni.gov.uk/faqs-schools-opening-children-key-workers-24-march-2020
There is also a fully comprehensive FAQ available at the Education Authority website as well, covering issues from transport to free school meals: https://www.eani.org.uk/covid-19-questions-and-answers
***Please also note that previous updates, including links to letters from the Minister for Education, information on from the Department of Education and information from the Education Authority can be found at this page***