This guidance has been developed for schools and educational settings to support a safe, phased reopening of schools in line with the Northern Ireland Executive's phase 2 of the "Pathway out of Restrictions ” published on 2 March 2021.


It has been informed by advice provided by the Education Authority, Department of Health and Public Health Agency and in conjunction with Trade UnUnions and Practitioners Groups.

It provides an overarching framework for how schools and education settings in Northern Ireland can operate in an ongoing COVID environment, with the aim of ensuring broad consistency and equity across local areas, but is sufficiently flexible to allow education settings and staff to adapt and adopt approaches that best suit their needs.

It has been developed as part of an overall Education Restart Programme, co-designed by the Department of Education, school leaders and key partners. Engagement has also taken place as part of an ongoing process with a consultation group comprising Managing Authorities, trades unions and sectoral support bodies that began in March 2020.

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