A return to singing and music lessons in schools has been welcomed by Sinn Féin Education spokesperson Pat Sheehan who challenged the Education Minister on the issue.
Pat Sheehan commented:
“Schools had originally been told that no indoor singing could take place when pupils returned after the Easter break.
“Pupils were also banned from playing wind instruments, such as recorders or flutes, and brass instruments, such as trumpets, indoors.
“And while we all understand the need for Covid-19 protections within schools, this ban clearly had implications for music students and the assessments they were expected to take.
“Educationalists were making the case that other measures, such as social distancing were more appropriate precautions in these circumstances.
“I raised the matter with Education Minister Peter Weir and asked him to detail what scientific or health advice informed his decision and what measures would be put in place to accommodate music students.
“I welcome that the minster has now responded to confirm that pupils taking a practical music assessment for GCSE, AS-level and A-level qualifications that require singing or the playing of a woodwind or brass instrument will be permitted, with immediate effect, to take these lessons as normal in suitable venues ie where mitigations, such as social distancing and in well-ventilated rooms, can take place.
“I believe that is a common-sense step that will enable these students to get on with their studies safely.”