Newry.ie

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All school pupils return to class tomorrow, 12 April, after a long period of enforced home learning for most as part of Covid-19 restrictions.

The Health and Education Ministers have thanked the public for their collective effort in helping schools return.

Speaking ahead of the full reopening tomorrow the Ministers also stressed the importance of continuing to follow the public health advice.

St Mary's High School, Newry. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/ Newry.ie

Health Minister Robin Swann said: “The reopening of schools is another step towards the normality that we all want to see. Many sacrifices have been made to get us to this point and I would like to commend the collective effort of the people of Northern Ireland for getting us here.

“However we need to remain cautious in our approach so that we do not undo the hard won progress that we have made. Covid-19 is still present in our communities and therefore it remains as important as ever, that we all follow the public health advice.”

Minister Swann continued: “Understandably children and young people will be looking forward to seeing their friends and classmates again but it’s vital that the safety measures put in place are adhered to.”

Education Minister Peter Weir said: “From tomorrow all of our pupils will return to school. This is a significant milestone for our children and young people and for some it will be the first time in the classroom for many months.

“For all of us the priority must be to keep our schools safe and ensure they remain open. For staff and pupils this means following social distancing guidance, good hand hygiene and wearing face coverings where required. Parents and guardians can play their part by wearing a mask when they are picking up or dropping off their child and not congregating around the school gates.”

The Education Minister also said that he would continue to support education settings to help them manage the impact of the pandemic: “I will also continue to invest in resources to help pupils who have faced disruption to their learning.”

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