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Commissioner comments on 'School Reset' Discussions

28 Jan 2021

Commenting on discussions about a ‘school reset’ Koulla Yiasouma, Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People said,

“We currently do not know enough about the impact of the pandemic on the education of individual children, classes, year groups or schools.

“Once children return to school we need to asses where they are mentally, socially and academically and determine what needs to happen for them to progress.

“For instance, there is a reason why Primary 1, 2 and 3 are called foundation years -  these build strong social and academic foundations to support future learning. We need to assess if these foundations have been laid properly for our young children.

“If we find there are systemic issues with particular classes, year groups or schools then a ‘school reset’ could be one of the measures that are considered. However I recognise this may not be ideal and would be logistically difficult. 

“Other options would also include additional teaching, smaller classes, wellbeing programmes and/or summer programmes.  The primary consideration has to be the best interests of all children and therefore all options should be explored.  

“We will want to know, when we look back on this Pandemic in 20 years’ time that we did everything we could to protect children from its effects.

“Extraordinary times may indeed call for extraordinary measures -  so let’s explore all the options”

ENDS

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