ASCL Northern Ireland responds to minister’s plans for wider opening of schools

18/06/2020
Robert Wilson, Regional Officer of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) Northern Ireland, comments on the Minister of Education’s plans for the wider opening of schools in Northern Ireland
 
Commenting on the Minister of Education’s plans for the wider opening of schools in Northern Ireland, Robert Wilson, Regional Officer of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) Northern Ireland, said:
 
“We support the Minister of Education’s desire for the wider opening of schools and acknowledge his good intentions for the full-time resumption of classroom-based learning for all pupils as soon as possible, when it is safe to do so.

“School leaders have been requesting for some time appropriate guidance to enable schools to open to more pupils. ASCL regrets the delay in issuing such guidance to schools but welcomes that it will now be issued tomorrow.

“We note the decision that social distancing of 1m is safe and appropriate between children and young people. We look forward to further details and clarification around this issue. We would also caution that this will still result in not being able to accommodate full classes in most classrooms.

“We welcome the announcement from the Minister for pupils to be returning to school from the week beginning 24 August. This will give school leaders more opportunity to have plans and staff in place to fully support them as they reintegrate into a more formal educational setting.
 
"Pupils returning to schools after five months will require considerable pastoral support to ensure they are well placed to adapt to the new environment that they find themselves in. The wellbeing of pupils will be the priority for school leaders.”