Coronavirus Act 2020 Temporary Modification of Education Duties (No.20) Notice (Northern Ireland) 2021

Date published: 18 January 2021

The Department of Education  makes the following Notice, in exercise of the powers conferred on it by section 38(3)(c) and paragraph 17(1), (2)(a)(ii), (4) and (7) of Schedule 17 to the Coronavirus Act 2020. The attached Notice makes modifications to Article 58(1)(a) and (5)(a) of the Education and Libraries (NI) Order 1986 and comes into operation on 14 January 2021.


The Education Minister, Peter Weir, announced on 5 January 2021 that pre-school education settings, primary and post primary schools will be required to provide remote learning to pupils until the half term break in mid-February.  Special schools will be open as normal and vulnerable children and pupils of key workers will have access to schools for supervised learning.

The modifications are necessary to enable the Education Authority to make direct payments in lieu of free school meals to families of pupils entitled to free school meals during school closures until mid-February except for pupils in special schools (as they will be open as normal) due to the outbreak of Coronavirus. The Department considers that the issuing of the notice is an appropriate and proportionate action in all the circumstances to ensure those who currently benefit from free school meals continue to receive the means by which they can secure the provision of an adequate meal during school closures as a result of the current outbreak of Coronavirus in Northern Ireland.


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