Department of Education advice and guidance

COVID -19 advice and guidance from the Department of Education and other bodies.

***Updates from 4th September 2020***

The Department of Education has released a revised Management Flowchart for possible/confirmed Covid-19 case in schools. You can see it at the link below:

https://www.nicie.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/COVID-19-Management-Flow-Chart.pdf

This should be read with the New School Day guidance released on the 28th August (linked to below).

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.


Updates from 28th August 2020

The Department of Education has published a further updated/revised guide on the “New School Day”. This is available on the Department website at the following link:

https://www.education-ni.gov.uk/publications/northern-ireland-re-opening-school-guidance-new-school-day-revised


Updates from 25th August 2020

Education Minister Peter Weir today announced that guidance on face coverings will be updated to include wearing them in corridors of post-primary schools. You can read more information here: https://www.education-ni.gov.uk/news/weir-updates-guidance-use-face-coverings-schools 

CCEA have released a consultation that all should be aware of, on proposed changes to GCSE and related exams for summer 2021. You can access the consultation here:

https://ccea.org.uk/news/2020/august/ccea-launches-consultation-proposed-changes-gcse-and-gce-qualifications-summer

The Education Minister Peter Weir is encouraging teachers, parents and students to respond to a consultation on proposed changes to examinations in summer 2021. You can read his full statement here:

https://www.education-ni.gov.uk/news/ccea-consultation-examinations-summer-2021 


Updates from 12th and 13th August 2020

On the 13th August the Department of Education published an updated/revised guide on the “New School Day”. This is available on the Department website at the following link and overrides previous published guidance: https://www.education-ni.gov.uk/publications/northern-ireland-re-opening-school-guidance-new-school-day-revised

In addition to this, the Minister for Education has released a letter to parents and carers on the reasoning behind the reopening of schools as well as guidance for them in regards to COVID-19. 

Letter to parents and carers available at this link

Checklist for parents and carers available at this link

The Department of Education has released updated guidance on their website for supporting staff to return to schools on the 12th August. You can find it at this link: https://www.education-ni.gov.uk/publications/guidance-supporting-staff-return-schools


Update from 6th August 2020

Education Minister Peter Weir said he wants all schools to return to more normal patterns of operation and attendance from the week beginning 31 August. Revised New School Day guidance will be published next week setting out an updated approach to the full reopening of schools rather than a phased approach. You can read his full letter at this link.


Update from 23rd July 2020

The Executive Office agreed further relaxations of restriction on the Coronavirus recovery pathway. Full details can be found on the Executive Office website here: https://www.executiveoffice-ni.gov.uk/news/statement-executive-decisions-23-july-2020 



Update from 17th July 2020

The Permanent Secretary, Derek Baker, has sent a letter to all principals regarding preparing for the 2020 influenza season along with a letter from the Chief Medical Examiner, Dr Michael McBride. Both highlight the importance of ensuring a high uptake of the flu vaccine, with the intention of extending the vaccine programme into year 8.

You can read the letter from Derek Baker at this link and from Dr Michael McBride here.


Update from 10th July 2020

The Department of Education have released two sets of guidance. One, an FAQ on supporting staff returning to the workplace, can be read at this link: https://www.nicie.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Frequently-Asked-Questions-Guidance-on-Supporting-Staff-to-Return-to-Sch.._.pdf 

The second, specific to support staff, can be read at this link: https://www.nicie.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Preparation-for-Schools-Reopening-Return-of-Support-Staff.pdf

You can find further information in support of these documents at the Department of Education website here https://www.education-ni.gov.uk/news/latest-department-education-updates-relation-covid-19-coronavirus as well as further down this page.

 



Update from 8th July 2020

Education Minister Peter Weir has announced that free wi-fi and mobile connectivity will be provided to children and young people who may not have had access to digital technology during lockdown. More information can be found at this link: https://www.education-ni.gov.uk/news/weir-announces-free-wi-fi-scheme-disadvantaged-pupils


Update from 3rd July 2020

The Department of Education has released additional guidance for the Foundation Stage within Primary Schools, which can be viewed on the department website here: https://www.education-ni.gov.uk/publications/northern-ireland-re-opening-school-guidance-additional-guidance-planning-foundation-stage-within


 

***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***