Notice - Coronavirus Act 2020 Temporary Disapplication of Education Duties (No.17) Notice (Northern Ireland) 2020

Date published: 17 December 2020

The Department of Education has exercised the power provided under section 38(3)(c) and paragraph 17(1), (2)(a)(ii) and (7) of Schedule 17 to the Coronavirus Act 2020 to issue a Notice to temporarily disapply Article 58 of the Education and Libraries (NI) Order 1986.  Notice No.17 will commence on 22 December 2020 and last for a period of 14 days unless a school has indicated its intention to reopen to pupils on 4 January 2021 and/ or unless the Department issues a cancellation notice before that period. 

Details

Article 58 requires, in accordance with arrangements approved by the Department, the provision of milk, meals or other refreshment for pupils in attendance at schools.  The School Holiday Food Grant Scheme to alleviate hardship for families of children in receipt of free school meals when at school will cover schools’ Christmas holidays which (dependent on individual schools) will be between the week commencing 21 December 2020 and the return to school on, or during the week commencing, 4 January 2021. The disapplication of Article 58 is necessary for the limited period so that the School Holiday Food Grant Scheme payments can be made.

The majority of schools will be closed from 22 December 2020 for Christmas holidays reopening during the week commencing 4 January 2021. The Department has considered that in such cases, it would cause least disruption to parents and greatest benefit to children in receipt of free school meals to disapply Article 58 of the 1986 Order for the limited period of 22 December up to and including 4 January 2021.

However, the Department has been made aware of a minority of schools which intend to reopen to pupils on 4 January 2021. The Department has considered that in these cases, it would cause least disruption to parents and greatest benefit to children in receipt of free school meals to disapply Article 58 of the 1986 Order for the limited period of 22 December up to 3 January 2021. This will mean that, where a school intends to reopen to pupils on 4 January 2021, school meals services are provided.

The Notice allows for the provision of food to a pupil in attendance at the school who appears to require it on humanitarian grounds.

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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