Education Minister Michelle McIlveen has spoken out the current situation in relation to the impact of COVID-19 on schools.

The Stormont Assembly has been recalled amid growing concern over the number of pupils who are absent from school because they are self-isolating due to close contact with a positive Covid case and are due to meet tomorrow (Thursday).

Commenting on the situation she said, “Detailed discussions are ongoing between my Department and the Department of Health on measures to alleviate current pressures facing our schools as a result of COVID-19.

“Proposals are being finalised and will be discussed with relevant stakeholders this week.

“I recognise that the start of the new school year has been stressful for parents, children and school staff.

“The public health grounds for keeping and supporting children at school are very strong in terms of supporting their education and emotional well-being.

“The risk of COVID-19 infection in any setting cannot be entirely eradicated but it can be reduced. Schools have a range of mitigations in place to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission in school. These include additional cleaning and hand hygiene, ventilation, the use of face coverings and regular asymptomatic testing.”

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