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Education Minister Peter weir has welcomed the Executive’s decision to allow schools to resume a range of activities.

The Minister has announced that schools will be permitted to resume extra-curricular activities, inter-schools sports and day educational visits from 24 May, subject to the Executive’s confirmation on 20 May.

Welcoming the decision the Minister said: “The Executive has identified education as a key priority within its Pathway out of Restrictions. It is vital that our children and young people are able to access activities that help them learn about themselves and develop and use their skills and knowledge.

“I fully recognise the importance of the breadth of learning experiences and opportunities that schools offer to children and young people. While access to the core curriculum is crucial, extra-curricular activities are a key element in enabling children to reap the full benefits of a return to face to face education to in a manner that supports their mental wellbeing as well as social and educational development.”

The Executive has also agreed to the resumption of inter-schools sport and day educational visits organised by schools and the youth sector.

Acknowledging this development the Minister continued: “I am aware of the importance of competitive sports being played against other schools for many pupils and the situation in recent times whereby a child could play a competitive sports match for their sports club but not for their school. I very much welcome that this decision will provide much needed clarification of this issue.”

“As regards the provision of educational visits, it is essential that children and young people have access to cultural sites and attractions to participate in field trips and other educational visits. These are important aspects of the school curriculum and youth provision.”