Notice - Coronavirus Act 2020 Temporary Modification of Education Duties (No. 32) Notice (Northern Ireland) 2021

Date published: 13 May 2021

The Department of Education has exercised the power provided under section 38(3)(c) and paragraph 17(1), (2)(a)(ii), (4)(a) and (7) of Schedule 17 to the Coronavirus Act 2020 to issue a Notice to temporarily modify Article 58 (1)(a) and (5)(a) of the Education and Libraries (NI) Order 1986.  Notice No. 32 will last for a period of 28 days from 11 May 2021, unless the Department issues a cancellation notice before the end of that period.


Pupils in all schools returned to school after the Easter holidays.  It followed a review during the Executive’s meeting on 1 April 2021 when it was agreed that the remaining students in years 8 to 11 could resume face-to-face teaching from 12 April 2021. Special, primary and nursery schools continue to remain open as normal.

Notice No. 32 makes modifications to Article 58(1)(a) and (5)(a) of the Education and Libraries (NI) Order 1986. The modifications are necessary to enable the EA and individual voluntary grammar (VG) and grant-maintained integrated (GMI) schools to provide food parcels for collection/delivery to pupils entitled to free school meals (FSM) who are unable to attend school for 10 days or more due to Covid-19 and wish such provision.

The Notice applies to those children who are -

(a) diagnosed with a medical condition or illness (or in extreme circumstances their parent has a significant underlying medical condition) and who -

(i) despite their absence from school, are registered by the school as being in attendance on the basis of medical advice that owing to their medical condition or illness (or in extreme circumstances their parent’s significant underlying medical condition), it is medically unsafe to be in attendance at school;

(ii) can demonstrate evidence that they are being educated, or otherwise engaging in learning, whilst not in attendance at school;

(b) self-isolating as a consequence of their own positive test for coronavirus disease;

(c) self-isolating as a consequence of a positive test for coronavirus disease of a member of their household and who are engaging in distance learning; and

(d) required by the school, on the advice of the Public Health Agency, not to attend school and who are engaging in distance learning.

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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