UNISON Northern Ireland

UPDATE Vaccination and Testing for Staff working in Special Schools

UNISON has been calling for Covid-19 vaccines to be available for all staff working in Special schools as a priority. We note the Education Minister's comments today at the Stormont Education Committee which suggest that vaccines will not be made available for all special school staff in the first instance, with health officials taking the lead in this programme. 

A meeting between the Minister and unions representing support staff and teachers is due to take place shortly. UNISON will be seeking that the Minister renew his efforts to have the vaccine made available to all staff in special schools. We will be reminding the Minister that our members in special schools are feeling extremely vulnerable and anxious, not only for themselves and their families, but more so for the children and young people that they are providing a vital service for.

UNISON is aware that the Education Authority has been working in partnership with the Public Health Agency to develop a programme of weekly rapid testing for all staff and pupils in special schools on a voluntary basis. We are seeking further details on how this programme will operate and will share updates with our members as this information becomes available.