Youth Restart & Recent Executive Announcements-26 November 2020

Youth Restart & Recent Executive Announcements

An update from Paul Deighan | Head of Regional Youth Services (Interim)

With reference to recent announcements regarding restrictions by the Northern Ireland Executive in relation to Covid-19, I write to confirm that as part of these announcements Educational Settings are exempt. Guidance issued within the Youth Restart and New School Day documents remains the current practice and procedures when working with children and young people in educational settings (i.e. youth settings). Guidance relating to Education Visits (activities or trips away from your normal delivery location) remains the same which are currently on pause at this time.

Outlined below is the current stage relevant to the Youth Work Setting for your reference.

If a change in restrictions is introduced which directly impacts the delivery of Youth Services, I will write to you again outlining any potential change.

Yours Sincerely,

Paul Deighan | Head of Regional Youth Services (Interim)

Youth Service |Children and Young People’s Service

 

Youth Work Setting Commencement Present Status
Generic Youth

Provision

1st October 2020 Operational
Centre Based Youth Provision (Part Time & Full Time) 1st October 2020 Operational
Area Based Project

Provision

1st October 2020 Operational
Specialist Provision

(Including Individual Work)

March 2020 Online Only Online
Online & Remote Access Provision March 2020 Operational
International Youth Work March 2020 Online Only Online
Outreach Work Stood Down Not Operational
Detached Provision April 2020 – Only as part of an agreed response plan to support vulnerable Children and young people led by EA Only as part of an agreed response plan to support vulnerable children and young people led by EA
Residential Work Stood Down Not Operational
Staff Development & Training April 2020 Online Only Online
Training for Young People April 2020 Online Only Online

 

 

 

Face coverings to be mandatory

Face coverings to be mandatory on all school transport for post primary children

Date published: 29 October 2020

The wearing of face coverings on all dedicated school buses and public transport will be mandatory for all post-primary children when schools reopen next week.

Currently, it is mandatory for passengers aged over 13 to wear a face covering on public transport and Department of Education guidance strongly recommends that all pupils should wear a face covering on all buses, trains or taxis for the journey to school.  Those aged 12 and under and/or those using a dedicated home to school transport vehicle are not required to do so.

Education Minister, Peter Weir said: “Principals and school staff have been working tirelessly to keep schools safe for pupils and, their efforts have ensured the level of transmission in schools remains low.  However, the rise in the number of Covid-19 cases in the community is something we all must seek to address.

“The Public Health Agency has recommended that my Department strengthens the requirements around the wearing of face coverings on home-to-school transport.  I have also had very positive discussions with the Infrastructure Minister, Nichola Mallon, on this issue and she too supports the need to ensure all post primary children wear face coverings on both dedicated school transport and public transport.  

“Following agreement by the Executive today, I have asked officials to amend the current regulations to make the wearing of face coverings on both dedicated school transport and public transport mandatory for all post-primary children”

The new regulations will not apply to pupils who are exempt from wearing a face covering.

Concluding Peter Weir said: “We all can help reduce the spread of Covid-19.  As schools prepare to re-open next week after the extended closure, I want to ask parents and carers to ensure their children have face coverings with them at all times and have a bag to store them safely when not in use. Encourage your child to practice social distancing and good hand hygiene as far as possible and advise them not to eat or share food on transport. 

“Parents and carers can also play their part by taking some simple steps such as not congregating outside schools gates when they are dropping children off, limit your contact with others, always wear a face covering and ensure you are practising social distancing.”

Notes to editors: 

  1. The current requirement for passengers over 13 on public transport vehicles, including buses, trains and the Strangford ferry, is to wear a face covering. This is detailed in The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Wearing of Face Coverings) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020 as laid before the Assembly on 24 July 2020. These regulations provide for an exemption in paragraph 4 (2) for those using a school transport service and also for children under the age of 13.
  2. Children and young people with special educational needs are not required to wear a face covering if they cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering because of any disability or cannot do so without severe distress. The current Department of Education guidance states that it is strongly recommended that all pupils, regardless of age, should wear a face covering on all buses, trains or taxis for the journey to school where it is appropriate for them to do so and they are able to handle them as directed.
  3. Follow us on Twitter @Education_ni
  4. Media enquiries to the Department of Education Press Office at: Press.Office@education-ni.gov.uk.
  5. The Executive Information Service operates an out-of-hours service for media enquiries between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

Parents can play critical role in keeping schools safe – Weir

LATEST-NEWS-GRAPHIC

As schools prepare to reopen after the extended half-term break, the Education Minister has asked everyone to play their part in helping to keep them safe spaces for pupils and staff.

On Thursday, the Minister announced that the wearing of face coverings on all dedicated school buses and public transport will be mandatory for all post-primary children when schools reopen.

Peter Weir said: ”The transmission of COVID-19 within schools remains low and by taking some simple steps we can all make sure that continues. I know that the overwhelming desire of parents and carers is to maintain a full return to school and I thank them for all the sacrifices they are making in very difficult circumstances.

I am asking parents and carers not to congregate at school gates when they are dropping off their children.  Always practise good social distancing and wear a mask and try to avoid going beyond the school gate unless you have an appointment. If you need to speak to a teacher ring or email first.

“Try to ensure children have face coverings with them at all times and have a bag to store them. Encourage your child to practise good hand hygiene and advise them not to eat or share food on transport. 

“Parents/carers are at the heart of fighting the virus, and minimising any disruption to education, so your role in responsible action both at the school gates, and in ensuring that the whole family including children, abide by all the necessary health  restrictions are the difference between success and failure. With your help we can all protect the future education and wellbeing of our children.”

Concluding the Minister said that keeping schools open remains his key priority.

He said: “I know from speaking to parents, carers and teachers that they want their children to be in school.  Face to face teaching is the best form of educational provision.

“These are difficult times for us all.  As parents and carers you are naturally worried about the impact on your child’s well-being by not being in school.  Children and young people have missed so much this year already, not just in terms of learning but in socialising with their friends, taking part in sports and other activities.

“We are all in this together and we all must help and support each other through the challenging times which lie ahead. I want to thank all of you – parents, carers, young people, teachers and school staff for all your efforts.”

Notes to editors: 

  1. Follow us on Twitter @Education_ni
  2. Media enquiries to the Department of Education Press Office at: Press.Office@education-ni.gov.uk.
  3. The Executive Information Service operates an out-of-hours service for media enquiries between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.