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NAHT Northern Ireland

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NAHT Northern Ireland represents principals and vice-principals in around two-thirds of 1,150 schools in Northern Ireland. NAHT Northern Ireland provide advice, training and support for its members on a range of issues faced by senior leaders in schools. Along with our colleagues in England and Wales, we are there to defend and extend the rights of school leaders.  

NAHT NI is democratic and member-led, and supported by its Belfast-based team of staff alongside their colleagues based in both Wales and England.

NAHT Northern Ireland
Carnmoney House
Edgewater Office Park

Belfast
BT3 9JQ

nahtni@naht.org.uk
02890 776633 

NAHT NI comments on revised Covid guidance for schools in Northern Ireland

Dr Graham Gault, director of NAHT Northern Ireland, said: “Given that official statistics show that 4,485 children and 488 school staff tested positive for coronavirus in the week ending on the 16th of January (an increase of 2,749 children and 126 staff on the previous week), school leaders can be forgiven for greeting this morning’s revised guidance with cynicism.

“In general terms, mitigations in schools have now been reduced to hand washing, opening windows and wearing masks where appropriate. And, despite trade union requests for reinstated contact tracing, any efforts to manage the potential spread of transmission across school communities has disappeared in all but name, to the extent that even the channels for seeking advice around multiple cases (clusters) has gone, with school leaders being left to complete a form in order to report concerns to EA.

“Whether it is truly the case or not, the perception of many school leaders is that they have now been left to fend for themselves, making very difficult decisions with potentially very serious ramifications based on their own best judgment. This development, along with the continuing staffing crisis, has created a critically difficult context for our school leaders.”

First published 25 January 2022
 

Recent consultations and other documents

NITC joint letter to management side

The five teacher unions in Northern Ireland, including NAHT(NI), wrote to the employers seeking additional payment to school leaders and teaching staff who worked significant additional hours during summer 2021 in order to ensure this work was recognised.

 

Consultation on deferring school starting age: NAHT(NI) draft response

We are concerned at the advancement of this proposal as the evidential basis for this consultation is highly limited. We contend that the current proposal should be retracted. The proposal fails to reflect the experience of pupils, school leaders, parents and the whole school community. Given the significance of this potential policy change, it is essential that the perspectives of all stakeholders are considered. We know that members are operating in a business-critical environment and will have limited or no time to engage with consultation exercises, however, we encourage members to consider responding to this important consultation and copy our response to complete your individual response.

 

Previous consultation responses and statements

First published 08 April 2020