Coronavirus: Schools given permission to sing again

By Robbie Meredith
BBC News NI Education Correspondent

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Singing is very popular in schools in Northern Ireland and a number of choirs have been successful in national competitions

Schools in Northern Ireland have been told pupils are allowed to sing again.

Guidance from the Education Authority (EA) had previously said singing was not advised in any school setting, including pre-school.

But the Public Health Agency (PHA) has carried out a review of that guidance and has now said that singing is "acceptable".

However, the change only applies to younger children in the first two years of primary and pre-school.

The Education and Training Inspectorate (ETI) has informed schools of the change.

According to an email sent by ETI to schools, the PHA said singing can take place "in line with risk assessment procedures".

"Currently there is no evidence that singing activities are of greater risk than any other activities," the new guidance to schools said.

"In early years setting the benefits of singing would outweigh any potential risks."

The ETI email also said that advice to schools about singing on the Education Authority website would be updated to reflect the new guidance.

The study from the University of Bristol did however find that the louder a person sang the more particles were produced.

Singing is very popular in schools in Northern Ireland and a number of choirs have been successful in national competitions.

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