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Actions to Support School Leaders Announced

The Education Minister has expressed his appreciation and thanks to school leaders and promised action to support their professional development and wellbeing and manage workloads.

Highlighting the importance of Continuing Professional Development for school leaders, Minister Weir said: “As recommended in the recent Fair Start report by the Expert Panel, investment in the Learning Leaders Strategy will help to ensure that all of our teachers, from the newly qualified to the most experienced principals, have access to an ongoing programme of high quality Professional Learning.

 “Our school leaders must also be provided with adequate support in delivering their roles and know when and where to seek assistance, which should be readily available.”

Addressing the issue of teacher workload, the Minister said: “I recognise the vital role our school leaders and teachers play in creating a safe, harmonious and effective learning environment in which pupils can flourish. 

“I have therefore committed £1.2m to resource a project to progress nine reviews contained within the Teacher Pay and Workload Agreement.  These include a review of workload impact on school leaders and examination of ways to maximise professional skills and ease workloads without compromising the support to pupils.”

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Stop and think this Farm Safety Week

Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots and Economy Minister Gordon Lyons are pictured with Derek and Ben Robinson and CEO of the Health and Safety Executive Northern Ireland, Robert Kidd, to promote Farm Safety Week.

This week marks the 9th annual Farm Safety Week and Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots and Economy Minister Gordon Lyons have met with farmer Derek Robinson whose son came close to losing his life when he was overcome with slurry fumes.

Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots said: “Since January 2015 there have been 35 fatalities on farms in Northern Ireland and that is just too many.  It is vital that we encourage all those working in the farming industry to stop and think about farm safety. By taking some simple precautions we can reduce the number of people killed and injured on our farms.

 “As someone who has spent a lifetime working in the farming industry, I am well aware of the satisfaction and joy working on the farm can bring, but I also know that, all too quickly, it can turn into a nightmare if you aren’t careful with your equipment and your surroundings.

“I would encourage everyone to take the time now, to be extra careful and vigilant. It is vital that farmers pause and think about what they are doing before beginning work with livestock, machinery or slurry.”

Agriculture Minister, Edwin Poots and Economy Minister Gordon Lyons are pictured with farmer Derek Robinson and his son Ben Robinson to promote Farm Safety Week. Ben was overcome with slurry fumes, but has now made a full recovery.

Farm Safety Week is an awareness raising event that sees the Farm Safety Partnerships, Farm Safety Foundation, Health and Safety Executive Northern Ireland and the Health and Safety Authority Ireland joining forces to drive the fundamental message of safety within the agricultural community home.

Economy Minister Gordon Lyons added: “Farm Safety Week is significant in helping to focus attention on farm safety and the measures that can be taken to ensure everyone is kept safe and out of harm’s reach.

“Derek’s story is important in that it highlights the fact that while many farms are work places they are also family homes bringing additional risks and considerations. With school summer holidays upon us it is critical we are even more mindful of children on the farm and ensure all is done to avoid accidents and injury.”

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Stay Safe During Hot Weather

The First Minister and deputy First Minister have encouraged everyone to stay safe and look out for others during the current spell of very hot weather.

Paul Givan and Michelle O’Neill were speaking after the Met Office issued the first ever warning for extreme heat here.

Executive departments and civil contingency agencies are working to mitigate any potential impacts to health, wellbeing and public services.

First Minister Paul Givan said: “After a difficult time for the whole community, it is understandable that people want to be out and about across Northern Ireland during this period of hot, dry weather.  We want everyone to enjoy the sunshine, but it is very important that everyone does it safely.

Extreme heat can have serious consequences for people’s health, public services and the environment. So we ask everyone to take steps to protect themselves. Don’t take risks that could potentially be dangerous for you, your family or the wider community.”


Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill said: “We have been experiencing an unprecedented heatwave and temperatures here are set to escalate even further in the coming days. It is vitally important that we all follow the advice that will help to keep everyone safe.

“Of course many people are keen to experience the good weather, but we ask everyone to take care of themselves, and others so that no one comes to any harm as a result of the extreme heat. Please check in on anyone who might be more vulnerable, including older family, friends and neighbours.”


Information and advice for people during the extreme heat warning is available at: https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/news/extreme-heat-warning-information-and-advice

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