All pupils to return to school after Easter break

Date published: 01 April 2021

Pupils in all primary and post-primary schools will return to school after the Easter holidays.

Update on schools from the Education Minister Peter Weir

This follows a review during today’s Executive meeting when it was agreed that the remaining students in years 8 to 11 could resume face-to-face teaching from 12 April.

Education Minister Peter Weir said: “A major milestone has been reached today with the Executive agreeing to move ahead as planned to allow pupils in year 8 to 11 to return to school after Easter. 

“All of our pupils will now be back in school, engaging with teachers and socialising with their friends.  We must all keep playing our part in ensuring our schools are safe and remain open.

“It is important that staff and students ensure they follow the Department’s guidance including social distancing, good hand hygiene and wearing face coverings where required.

“The message remains that parents and guardians should wear a mask when they are picking up or dropping off their child and not congregate around the school gates.”

The Department will write to schools to with any updates or clarifications to the guidance.

Concluding the Minister said that he would continue to support education settings to help them manage the impact of the pandemic.  

He said: “It is important that schools, students and parents are confident that our schools are safe.  The introduction of testing, which will continue to be rolled out for pupils over the coming months, will help provide significant reassurance.

“I will also continue to invest in resources to help pupils who have faced disruption to their learning.” 

Notes to editors: 


  1. School managed breakfast clubs, education visits, inter-school sports and after school activities remain currently paused and are part of ongoing discussions with the Department of Health. There are further discussions to finalise plans for a swift resumption of extra-curricular managed outdoor sports training within schools themselves.
  2. Follow us on Twitter @Education_NI and our Facebook page, Department of Education Northern Ireland.
  3. Media enquiries to the Department of Education Press Office at:
  4. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service For Media Enquiries Only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.



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