Stormont assembly recalled to discuss deteriorating Covid situation in schools

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By Q Radio news

The Stormont Assembly is being recalled today to discuss the covid 19 situation in schools.

It follows a petition put forward by Sinn Fein after some principals expressed concern that guidance on testing and tracing has caused a high number of pupils to miss classes.

MLAs will call on the Education Minister, Michelle McIlveen,  to “develop clear and robust guidance” for school staff.

A proposal for health officials to take over responsibility for tracing Covid close contacts in schools will allow teachers to return to working with children, a union boss has said.

Teaching unions were briefed on the plan, which still needs to be officially approved, to have the Public Health Agency (PHA) take over contact tracing during a meeting on Wednesday.

The current policy, in which teachers have been largely responsible for tracing close contacts, has been widely criticised.

It is hoped the new proposal would reduce the number of children who are currently absent due to close contact with a positive case and reduce pressure on the PCR testing system.

(Stormont Education minister, Michelle McIlveen)


 

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