Education news

Staff will work voluntarily over summer to aid education recovery

Minister Peter Weir (centre) and department officials appeared before the assembly education committee

AS many as 50 schools have offered to open in the summer on a voluntary basis to aid `recovery'.

Education minister Peter Weir yesterday provided an update to the assembly education committee on his department's response to Covid-19.

Mr Weir discussed guidance issued on the new school day.

He told the committee that he was bringing forward a new project called Engage to provide literacy and numeracy support and mental health interventions.

There will also be the widening of nurture support for the 2020/21 academic year in socially deprived areas.

With schools now closed for the summer, he said, attention was turning to how to best prepare for an August return.

It was important that planning for restart and recovery began, he said.

The minister told members that several schools had said some staff would come in during the summer voluntarily.

Committee chairman Chris Lyttle asked if all schools would be required to bring back their P7s in full year groups from day one.

Young people in key cohorts of Years 7, 12 and 14 are to return on August 24.

Mr Lyttle warned that schools would have varying levels of capacity.

However, Mr Weir said schools should be able to accommodate all P7s for one week before other pupils returned, as they would be operating at one-seventh of their capacity.

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Education news