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

Date published: 06 August 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 22 January 2021 to provide financial support to substitute teachers who have reduced opportunity to work in schools which are only open for vulnerable pupils and key workers' children.  The scheme is to ensure that substitute teachers who worked between 1 September 2020 and 31 December 2020 (i.e. those receiving earnings for this work most recently, so most impacted by the loss of income) will have access to an income from January to March 2021.  Following a decision by Minister to open schools on a phased basis from 8 March 2021, it has been agreed that financial support will be extended to 31 March 2021.  You do not need to take any further action - the information you provided in your application will be used to calculate your entitlement up to 31 March 2021.

The Scheme is now closed to new Applications.

Further information on the Scheme is on the website. 

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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