Coronavirus Act 2020 Temporary Modification of Duties (NO.9) Notice (Northern Ireland) 2020

Date published: 02 July 2020

Last updated: 02 July 2020

Duties in Relation to Special Educational Needs

The Department of Education has exercised the power provided under Section 38(3)(c) and paragraph 17(1), (2)(b) and (d) and (7) of Schedule 17 Coronavirus Act 2020 to issue a Notice modifying the provisions listed in Part II of the Education (NI) Order 1996 and the Education (Special Educational Needs) Regulations (NI) 2005 for 28 days. 


The Notice modifies the duties on the Education Authority; Schools; Boards of Governors of schools; Principals; health and social care authorities; and parents, to a new duty to make their best endeavours to meet their original duty. This is only where the inability to comply with the original duty is attributable to the outbreak of coronavirus in Northern Ireland Including reduced availability of staff and reallocation of resources to meet other essential services including planning for the recovery and restart of education in August 2020

The Department considers that the issuing of this further Notice is an appropriate and proportionate action in the circumstances because the current outbreak of coronavirus in Northern Ireland has meant that the Education Authority, Principals and Board of Governors of Schools, schools, health and social care authorities mainly by cause of the imposition of public health restrictions and staffing difficulties, are unable to meet the statutory duties as set out in Part II of the Education (Northern Ireland) Order 1996 and the Education (Special Educational Needs(SEN)) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2005.

The Notice is intended to be for a period of 28 days, unless the Department issues a cancellation notice before the end of that period.  If required, a further Notice may be issued at the end of this period, i.e. 30 July 2020.

Under paragraph 17 of Schedule 17 of the Coronavirus Act 2020 the Department is required to publish the notice and to take steps as the Department considers reasonable to bring the notice to the attention of those likely to be affected by it.

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