As part of the Northern Ireland Executive’s measures to reduce the current rising incidence or transmission of coronavirus the Minister of Education 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 remain open as usual.
This Notice requires the EA to make payments in lieu of free school meal to the families of all pupils entitled to FSM, including those in special schools, during the period 25 January to 12 February.
This Notice differs from Notice No. 20, which was cancelled on 5 February 2021, in that it removes the exclusion of pupils entitled to FSM in special schools. This is necessary because of the greater than anticipated number of children in special schools whose parents have indicated, subsequent to Notice No. 21, that their child was unable to attend special school due to Coronavirus. Consequently Notice No. 21 was cancelled on 5 February 2021.
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.