School leaders cancel European travel plans due to coronavirus concerns

As reported by BBC news, plans for school leaders from Northern Ireland to travel to France and Spain for training have been cancelled due to coronavirus

More than 70 school leaders were due to travel to the French and Spanish cities as part of a course on effective leadership funded by the European Union’s Erasmus+ programme.

A spokesperson for the EA said it had taken a “considered approach and has been guided by the fast-changing nature of the Covid-19 coronavirus and the interventions being implemented in France and Spain”.

“EA will be working with the relevant agencies and schools to rearrange the visits at a later stage,” the spokesperson added.

A UK science fair, in which several Northern Ireland schools planned to compete, has also been cancelled. While there is no Foreign Office advice against travel to France or Spain, there have been coronavirus cases in both countries.

A number of pupils and teachers from Northern Ireland were due to compete in finals at The Big Bang UK Young Scientists and Engineers Fair, which was to be held at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham on Wednesday 11 March.

In an email to one of the schools affected by its cancellation on Friday, the organisers said coronavirus was responsible.

“The unique nature of The Big Bang Fair – an indoor, hands-on interactive event for tens of thousands of young people, their teachers and parents from across the UK – means that we feel this is the most appropriate decision to take at this time,” they said.

“We know that this will be particularly disappointing for you/your students/your child, having worked so hard in preparation for the finals.”

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