RE: PHA Track and Trace


Dear Member,

The UTU as part of the Northern Ireland Teachers’ Council (NITC) has agreed the following joint message to members in relation to the effective withdrawal of track and trace from schools. After reading the message the NITC need you to put as much pressure on the Executive parties as possible to highlight the reality of the situation on the ground in schools. We are asking EVERY teacher and school leader to email each Executive Minister with your concerns.


Joint Message from the NITC

The NITC which is comprised of the INTO, NAHT, NASUWT, NEU and UTU believe that the current ‘contact tracing’ system operated by PHA since last Friday is ineffective and offers no protection to children or staff, nor has it sufficiently removed the administrative burden of dealing with such concerns from school leaders.


PHA define a ‘school contact’ as

  • Someone who stayed in the same household as an infected person overnight
  • Someone who had intimate contact with an infected person overnight
  • Someone who was on a school trip overnight with an infected person
  • Someone who provided or received personal care from an infected person

The NITC don’t believe that it was the intention of the Executive parties that spending a whole day beside an infected individual in a school wouldn’t count as a close contact, but this is the daily reality in schools.


Throughout the covid emergency, the Teaching Unions have developed better approaches for school and community safety and – in the face of aggressive transmission - would welcome the opportunity to discuss these in more detail.


The NITC are calling on all teachers and school leaders to contact the following individuals setting out your concerns and seeking swift action to implement a robust track and trace system in our schools.


Office of the First and Deputy First Minister:

Minister of Agriculture, Environment, and Rural Affair:

Minister for Communities, Deirdre Hargey:

Minister for the Economy, Gordon Lyons:

Minister of Education, Michelle McIlveen:

Minister of Finance, Conor Murphy:

Minister of Health, Robin Swann:

Minister for Infrastructure, Nichola Mallon:

Minister for Justice, Naomi Long:


The Northern Ireland Teachers’ Council