Department of Education advice and guidance

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

Update from 20th April 2021

The Minister published a letter to school Principal’s regarding a letter from Health and Rights, a branch of Unite the Community NI that has been distributed to schools raising concerns about mitigations that have been put in place are breaching the rights of children.

You can read the letter here.

Update from 8th March 2021

The Minister published an open letter regarding the arrangements for a return to face-to-face learning; you can read the letter here.

The Department of Education also published the 4th edition of the Guidance for Schools and Educational Settings in Northern Ireland; this document can be viewed here.

Schools are encouraged to review their existing risk assessments, as we move into Phase 2 of the Executive’s Pathway out of Restrictions, and the phased return of face to face teaching in mainstream schools.

Coronavirus guidance for schools will continue to be reviewed and amended to address any future scientific and medical evidence that arise.


Update from 5th February 2021

the Education Restart Programme has today released a letter today confirming the arrangements for the February mid-term and Easter breaks. This includes “Following consultation with the Department for Health, it is the Department’s expectation that all schools will take their scheduled holidays over the February mid-term and Easter breaks, when parents would be expected to have made their normal arrangements for childcare.

You can read the full letter at this link.

In addition The Minister for Education and the Department of Education have released a number of letters and documents today (5th February) in relation to the awarding arrangements for CCEA  qualifications in 2021. You can find the links and information at this page.

We will continue to update this page with relevant information as and when we receive it 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.

You can also find all updates from the department of education here: https://www.education-ni.gov.uk/ 

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 from 22nd and 26th January 2021

Education Minister Peter Weir MLA, has released Supplementary Guidance for Special Schools in Northern Ireland . This was originally sent out to all Special School Principals on the 21st January, with an updated version released on the 25th. You can read it at this link.


Update from 6th January 2021

Education Minister Peter Weir MLA, through the Education Restart Programme, has released updated guidance for schools today. This has been sent on by the Department of Education to all schools and educational settings, and can also be viewed at this link.



Update from 4th January 2021

The Department of Education announced changes to schools’ reopening for January 2021 on the 31 December 2020. You can view the full details here: https://www.education-ni.gov.uk/news/weir-announces-changes-schools-reopening-arrangements

In addition to this, additional guidance was sent to all schools on the 3rd January 2021 regarding exams due to take place in January. You can view the letter here.

***Please also note that previous updates, including links to letters from the Minister for Education, information from the Department of Education and information from the Education Authority can be found at this page***