As schools prepare for opening to priority pupil groups from Monday 24 August and with a full return for all pupils from 31 August, the Department has engaged with colleagues from the Education Authority (EA) and health and social care authorities, including the Department of Health (DoH) and the Public Health Agency, and is of the view that the prevailing climate is such that it is not an appropriate and proportionate action to issue a further Notice at this time.
As such the Department has made a Cancellation Notice - Coronavirus Act 2020 Temporary Modification of Education Duties (No.10) Cancellation Notice (Northern Ireland) 2020, as of Monday 24 August, ensuring that full statutory duties will apply to children who have, or may have, Special Educational Needs.
If parents and carers require further information in relation to what this means for their child who is going through the Statementing Process, please contact the Education Authority SEN Helpline on 028 9598 5960, where staff will be able to assist with any queries relating to this. The EA SEN Helpline is available from 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday (excluding statutory holidays).
For those children with an existing Statement of Special Educational Needs, in the first instance please liaise directly with the child’s school in relation to the implementation of their statement.
The Department will continue to monitor the emerging guidance and direction from the Chief Medical Officer and the NI Executive as the school term progresses, with public safety and the health and well-being of children, young people and our educational staff at the forefront of our decision making.
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.