“Proposals are being finalised and will be discussed with relevant stakeholders this week.
“I recognise that the start of the new school year has been stressful for parents, children and school staff.
“The public health grounds for keeping and supporting children at school are very strong in terms of supporting their education and emotional well-being.
“The risk of COVID-19 infection in any setting cannot be entirely eradicated but it can be reduced. Schools have a range of mitigations in place to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission in school. These include additional cleaning and hand hygiene, ventilation, the use of face coverings and regular asymptomatic testing.”