Latest Department of Education updates in relation to COVID-19 (coronavirus)

Date published: 07 July 2020

This page provides the latest information released by the Department of Education in relation to Covid-19 (coronavirus) and its impact on education services.

For general health advice relating to Covid-19, please visit the Public Health Agency website.

Frequently asked questions

Income Support Scheme for substitute teachers

The Income Support Scheme for substitute teachers was launched on 19 May 2020 to help support substitute teachers who had lost the opportunity for income during the Covid-19 crisis. The scheme ensured that eligible substitute teachers, engaged between 1 January 2020 to 31 March 2020, would have access to an income for the period April to June 2020. This scheme has now ended.

Key workers support service

Key workers seeking to place their child in a school other than the normal establishment should contact the Education Authority who are providing a support service to facilitate placements.  

On completion of the relevant application form, the Education Authority will appoint a caseworker to assist key workers with finding a school or pre-school in a suitable location, if their usual school/pre-school is not open.

Contact details and an on-line placement request form can be found on the EA website (external link opens in a new window).  

Covid-19 Childcare Recovery plan

Coronavirus National Testing Programme for key workers

Schools open for supervised learning

An interactive map displaying schools open for supervised learning can be accessed on the Education Authority website.

Registered clusters

When a school clustering arrangement has been agreed the central liaison contact/leader in charge should register the C-19 Cluster with DE/EA by completing a short survey at:

A list of schools providing supervised learning as part of a registered clustering arrangement can be accessed on this school clusters document.

Please note that within Registered C-19 Clusters some schools may not be open. Please refer to the interactive map of open schools for further information

Volunteering scheme

Volunteering scheme (Covid-19) within the education sector

Free school meals - Direct Payment Scheme

On 26 March the Minister for Communities and the Minister for Education announced plans to make sure families do not experience hardship as a result of schools closing. The direct payments scheme will ensure families eligible for free school meals will receive direct payments into bank accounts during the period of term time school closures due to Coronavirus.

Ministerial statements

Information and guidance for educational settings

Support for parents and pupils

A list of resources has been published that you may find useful as you assist your child with learning during the period of school closures due to Covid-19 (coronavirus).

Information is also available about organisations which are happy to provide help, advice and support to you as a parent at this time.

Notices made under the Coronavirus Act 2020

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