In an incredibly contemptuous and cowardly move the Northern Ireland Minster for Education has sent a letter to schools this evening informing Principals that schools will reopen as normal in January. This comes with no consultation with Union officials after a scheduled meeting was cancelled today.

Gemma Weir, Workers Party North Belfast representative said ‘the Minister, not for the first time, has shown complete disregard for the well-being of all education workers not to mention a total lack of consideration for the health of children, young people and their families’

She continued ‘it would appear that his over zealous belief in the selection process has blinded him in making decisions that should be based on the health and well-being of the population and in line with the new restrictions put in place to reduce the R number.’

She concluded ‘It’s interesting as well that his letter is seemingly accepting of a society where children are either not safe at home or who are from ‘disadvantaged’ families and do not have the necessary means to support them with extra time at home. Rather than address the inequity of the system he believes it is better to put everyone at risk of infection and endanger lives. His decision this evening ultimately flies in the face of the overall lockdown and makes a mockery of the restrictions’‘The Workers’ Party call on the minster to immediately consult with Union officials and reconsider his decision with the well-being of staff and students at the forefront.’