AQW 5126/17-22 – Social distancing and personal care in ASD units

Mr Patsy McGlone (Mid Ulster): To ask the Minister of Education, given the current recommendation for social distancing, how he plans to address the need for pupils in ASD units to receive personal and intimate care throughout the school day.

Minister of Education: All educational settings will adhere to Public Health Authority (PHA) guidance on social distancing. Autism Specific Classes are usually small (8 pupils) and this is an enabling factor in relation to social distancing.

Adults will work with children directly by way of supporting learning, managing behaviour and intimate care where this is required using Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as appropriate. On 4 June, the Department issued guidance to support safe working in educational settings. Safe handling policies and procedures will apply for particular pupils using individual management plans to take account of varying risks regarding Covid-19 within a school day.