Some school pupils could be back at their desks by late August

Ministers work together to provide free school meals

Education Minister Peter Weir

Staff Reporter

Reporter:

Staff Reporter

SOME school pupils here may return to school in late August, with others having a phased return, the Education Minister has said.

Peter Weir was speaking during a meeting of a Stormont committee on Thursday.

Schools have been closed since March, although some have taken in the children of key workers.

Mr Weir said: “Subject to medical guidance and safety, it would be my aim to see a phased reopening of schools.”

Mr Weir said the reopening of schools would begin with “limited provision for key cohort years in August, followed by a phased provision for all pupils at the beginning of September”.

He added: “This will not be a return to school as it was prior to Covid, but rather a new normal reflective of social distancing and a medically safe regime.

“For all pupils it will involve a mixture of scheduled school attendance and learning at home.

“In line with the executive's strategy contingent upon medically sound advice and susceptibility of the transmission of the virus, consideration may be given to a return of younger cohorts.”

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