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Cumber Claudy


22nd Jun 2020

Dear Parent / Carer,

On Friday 19th June we received the guidance which sets out the framework for re-opening all schools across Northern Ireland. We are examining all parts of the guidance, which is set out in a 53-page document. We aim to implement the regulations and guidelines in a way which promotes the best possible opportunities for effective learning and teaching in a safe environment. We hope the following summary of the introduction to the document, including basics of the ‘New School Day,’ will give you an understanding of the framework we are operating within.

Nick Tomlinson




The Executive on 18 June 2020 agreed that the current social distancing guidance of 2m must be followed between all adults within the education sector but that a distance of 1m is appropriate between children and young people while using a ‘protective bubble’ strategy. In this context, younger children are viewed as all young people in Year 10 and below. Children in Year 11 and above will be expected to maintain social distancing (without a protective bubble) as will all adults in the education workforce.

The strategic objective is to achieve maximum face-to-face teaching time for all pupils at the earliest opportunity. Where social distancing cannot reasonably be applied a ‘protective bubble’ strategy can be adopted. The expectation is that the majority of settings will adopt such a strategy. Remote learning will be supported for those young people not attending including a small number of those shielding and advised not to attend.

In the event that social distancing rules are further relaxed over the summer period, before restart occurs, then it is possible that other attendance patterns will be considered, in consultation with practitioners and education stakeholders.

COVID-19 Risk

The risk of the disease being transmitted is higher the closer the contact, the greater the exposure to respiratory droplets (for example from coughing), or the longer the duration of the contact. A High Risk Contact is a person having had face to face contact with a COVID-19 Case within 2 metres for more than 15 minutes. Passing in corridors and short periods of contact does not therefore present a significant risk to staff or pupils.

The Basics of a “New School Day”

Start of term is 24 August 2020 for Primary 7, Year 12 and Year 14 and all vulnerable children. Staggered arrival and pick up times to limit interactions.

New Attendance Patterns:

Primary Schools:

- Protective bubble strategy

- Maximise full use of school building

- Where full classes cannot be accommodated – minimum 40% face to face teaching contact time (remainder by remote learning)

Post – Primary Schools:

- Where possible protective bubble strategy (for younger years)

- Where full classes cannot be accommodated – minimum 50% face to face teaching contact time (remainder by remote learning)

- Social distancing and increased hygiene measures will be introduced throughout the school.

- Where pupils cannot be in school for all or part of the time, a ‘blended learning’ approach will be implemented.