PHA move will lift some of the burden off schools – Lockhart

PHA move will lift some of the burden off schools – Lockhart

Upper Bann MP, Carla Lockhart

Staff Reporter

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Upper Bann MP Carla Lockhart has said the announcement that the Public Health Agency will take on responsibility for contact tracing in schools will be a welcome move and allow some of the burden on local Principals to be lifted.

Carla Lockhart said:

“The situation in local schools last week was unacceptable, with a lack of clarity around COVID rules and the burden for contact tracing resting with Principals. This was unsustainable and was resulting in school leaders devoting their entire time to contact tracing after positive cases in the school community. 

"Having consulted with Principals in Upper Bann, it was clear that change was needed. I thank those Principals who brought forward constructive suggestions to me to find solutions. It reflected the willingness in our local schools to find a way forward that worked for pupils, parents, and school staff.

"The announcement last week that contact tracing responsibility would move to the Public Health Agency is a very welcome step in alleviating some of the burden on schools. We want the full resources of our schools targeted towards educating our children, not public health logistics. I thank my colleague Michelle McIlveen MLA, Education Minister, for championing this solution and know that she is looking at other ways to support our schools to help them through what may be a challenging period through autumn and winter.”

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