Coronavirus Northern Ireland: Guidance on ‘new school day’ published

Posted by
Wednesday, June 24th, 2020

Education Minister Peter Weir has published new guidance setting out how schools should plan for the new school day.

Embed from Getty Images


The guidance is part of an overall Restart Programme and has been co-designed by the Department of Education, school leaders and key partners.

It has been supported through consultation with managing authorities, trade unions and sectoral support bodies.



Welcoming the publication of the guidance, Peter Weir said, “My ambition has always been, and remains, for the full-time resumption of classroom-based learning for all pupils as soon as it is safely possible to do so. 

“I fully appreciate the stresses felt by all our teachers, parents and pupils during this time of disruption and uncertainty regarding the future.

“Although our overall approach to managing the Covid-19 virus must rightly remain cautious, today is a positive step forward in providing a road map to plan for the reopening of schools in two months’ time.”

Following confirmation by the Executive that schools will reopen for staff from 17 August and for priority groups of pupils from 24 August, the Minister said, “This guidance in many ways reinforces practices we have all become accustomed to.

“It promotes regular hygiene practices on arrival at schools and throughout the school day and the application of the “catch it, bin it, kill it” principles.



“It builds on the Executive’s agreement of 18 June 2020, that the current social distancing guidance of two metres must continue to be followed between all adults and older year groups within the education sector, but that looking to a start date of 24 August, a distance of one metre is an appropriate planning assumption between children and young people.” 

Outlining the model of the use of ‘protective bubbles’ the Minister continued, “In circumstances where social distancing cannot reasonably be applied, the use of ‘protective bubbles’ as an additional mitigating measure must be followed.

“This has been applied successfully by other countries in their arrangements for reopening of schools.

“The guidance also promotes a flexible approach to use of existing spaces as a means of maximising face-to-face teaching opportunities and provides the framework within which workforce planning can now be developed.”



The Minister added, “Today is an important starting point in the journey to reopening schools and reflects our current circumstances.

“We will continue to be guided by medical and scientific developments between now and 24 August.”


5 Powerful Benefits of Blogging EVERY Northern Ireland Business Owner, Marketing Manager and Director Needs To Know


Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed


This website does not share personal information with third parties nor do we store any information about your visit other than to analyze and optimize your content and reading experience through the use of cookies. You can turn off the use of cookies at anytime by changing your specific browser settings.

We are not responsible for republished content from this blog on other blogs or websites without our permission. This privacy policy is subject to change without notice and was last updated on 16/01/2017. If you have any questions feel free to contact Newry Times by emailing

Log in