Commenting on plans
for the Public Health Agency to take over contact tracing in schools in Northern Ireland from Friday, Robert Wilson, Regional Officer of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) Northern Ireland, said:
“We are pleased that the Education Minister has confirmed that the Public Health Agency will take over the responsibility of contact tracing from school leaders in line with the approach being taken in other parts of the UK.
“We have been arguing strenuously for this to happen because school leaders have been under enormous pressure and need to be able to focus on supporting their pupils in their learning and through pastoral care rather than carrying out public health tasks.
“They should not have been put in this position in the first place, and we are now relieved this situation appears to have been resolved. We welcome the input from the PHA and the rationale given for the decision which should provide reassurance to school leaders, teachers, pupils and parents. We look forward to seeing the detailed guidance.
“It is essential that ministers and officials do everything possible to ensure educational continuity after so much disruption over the past 18 months.”