Education news

Pop-up classrooms and outdoor learning could help school return

Sinead Bradley said some learning could take place outdoors, to help social distancing

POP-up classrooms in community centres and public buildings could help enforce social distancing when schools return, it has been claimed.

SDLP MLA Sinead Bradley has asked education minister Peter Weir to investigate the use of temporary accommodation.

Ms Bradley said such larger spaces could be used to achieve required social distancing.

Weather pending, she added, there should also be consideration given to the possibility of outdoors teaching.

"Like every part of our society, education will require a phased return with the safety of our children and staff being paramount. This will require thinking beyond the school system as we knew it," the South Down MLA said.

"Immediate work around access to broadband and technology from home should be the priority of the day but preparations must also be ongoing to look beyond this phase.

"There is no doubt challenges face the Department for Education as they plan for a safe phased return to school for our children.

"It is also obvious to all that the physical size of classrooms and large pupil numbers per class will make social distancing impossible.

"Engagement with supply teachers to address any additional staffing requirements that may arise from such an arrangement should also be embraced at the earliest possible planning phase."

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Education news