Parents ‘stressed out’ at school return - MLA

An MLA has said parents have been left ‘stressed out’ worrying about balancing work and school attendance in September.
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Doug Beattie called for more clarity and to introduce multiple ‘social bubbles’ in in each class to allow for 100% attendance at school.

The Ulster Unionist MLA praised a Portadown primary school which, he said has brought forward a plan which allows their pupils to return at 100% attendance in September.

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Mr Beattie said: “Their solution is to introduce ‘Social Bubbles’ and each class will consist of 5 bubbles, each containing 6 children. I am calling on the Education Minister to alleviate the unnecessary stress being forced on parents at this time and to strongly consider introducing this solution to all schools.

UUP MLA Doug BeattieUUP MLA Doug Beattie
UUP MLA Doug Beattie

“Not only have our children been deprived of 3 months education, by the time they set foot within a classroom setting again they will have been deprived of 5 months social and emotional support from their peers.

Teachers throughout NI have been working tirelessly at home and putting their best foot forward in helping each child achieve as much as possible through home learning it’s now time for Mr Weir MLA to put his best foot forward.

“Many parents across NI have been left in a state of confusion as they struggle to understand how their child’s education will progress in September. The uncertainty is laying unnecessary stress on parents as they try to figure out how to balance work and school attendance come September.

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“Upon asking the Education Minister what measures will be in place to support children whose parents are in full time work I was informed the 40% attendance is the minimum face to face teaching time within primary schools and a minimum of 50% within post-primary schools. The plan to offset this minimum attendance is to restore the childcare sector to pre-covid 19 capacity levels as quick as possible this will not alleviate the strain.”

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