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The NASUWT–The Teachers’ Union has called on the Minister of Education Peter Weir to expand the provision of remote education to all pupils in nursery, primary, secondary and special schools.
  
Dr Patrick Roach, NASUWT General Secretary, said:
 
“The NASUWT is completely committed to ensuring that children can return to school as quickly as possible.
 
“However, it is now abundantly clear that the pandemic is seriously impacting on the ability of all schools to continue to operate normally.
 
“There is genuine concern that schools are not able to reopen fully and safely at this time.
 
“The NASUWT remains of the view that schools and other settings should only remain open to all pupils where it is safe for them to do so.
 
“The NASUWT will not hesitate to take appropriate action in order to protect members whose safety is put at risk as a result of the failure of employers or the Department of Education to ensure safe working conditions in schools.”
 
Justin McCamphill, NASUWT National Official for Northern Ireland, said:

“We are in the middle of a Covid-19 surge and it is simply not tenable that special and nursery schools can return as normal next week or primary schools on the 11 January.

“Those teachers who are due to return next week deserve to be treated in the same way as all other school staff. The reality is that teachers in nursery and special schools are at high risk as social distancing of any sort is impossible.

“The NASUWT calls on the Minister to make sure that his future communications are unambiguous.

“Clarification should not be provided in tweets just before midnight but should be communicated directly to schools before they are due to open next week.

“The NASUWT is aware of several primary schools which plan to open on Monday for pupils who are due to sit the transfer test. The Minister needs to act now not in the middle of next week.”

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