Notice - Coronavirus Act 2020 Temporary Modification of Education Duties (No. 40) Notice (Northern Ireland) 2022

Date published: 21 February 2022

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. 40 will last for a period of 28 days from 21 February 2022, unless the Department issues a cancellation notice before the end of that period.


All pupils in all schools have been in school since September 2021. The Executive announced that the self-isolation period for positive cases, in specific circumstances, would be cut from seven days to five from 21 January 2022. The Public Health Agency revised its guidance regarding testing and self-isolation requirements. Further details should be accessed via the attached links Coronavirus (COVID-19): self-isolating and close contacts | nidirect

This Notice is in keeping with Notice No. 39, which expired on 11 February 2021, and continues to reflect the agreement of the Executive Committee on 20 January 2021 to cut the Covid-19 self-isolation period for positive cases from 7 days to 5 in specific circumstances. It continues to reflect the revised Public Health Agency guidance on testing and self-isolation in response to the Omicron variant. It captures all pupils who test positive for Coronavirus, regardless of whether they can end their self-isolation after five full days, and all pupils who have been advised that they should not attend school on the basis of having been identified as a close contact of a positive COVID-19 case and they cannot take a test in accordance with the Public Health Agency guidance. In addition it includes pupils who are required by their school to learn remotely for a period of 5 days or more as a result of circumstances outlined in the Department’s Circular 2021/25. This Notice continues to apply to specified pupils in all grant-aided schools.

Notice No. 40 will continue to require food provision for those pupils entitled to FSM who are unable to attend school for a period of 5 days or more due to Covid-19. Specifically these are 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; and

(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 for a minimum of 5 days;

(c) pupils who have been advised that they have been identified as a close contact of a positive COVID-19 case who cannot take a test and who are required to self-isolate for 10 days;

(d) required by the school, in accordance with DE Circular 2021/25, not to attend school for a period of 5 days or more and who are engaging in remote 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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