An expert has urged the NI Executive to stay away from any headline grabbing attempt to help children catch up on their education and instead invest properly in their future.
Tony Gallagher, Professor of Education at Queen's University Belfast was speaking after the UK Government's new educational recovery tsar said longer school hours and terms extended into the summer to tackle the impact of Covid-19 on children would be considered alongside extra hours for sports and music.
Sir Kevan Collins was appointed by the UK Government to oversee the return to education in England.
But rather than making a similar appointment in Northern Ireland, Professor Gallagher said the best solution would be to properly fund education and let the experts, the teachers working with the children themselves, lead any return to the classroom.
"The UK Government are prone to chasing headlines," he said.
"We have known since the autumn that the challenges faced in education have different impacts on different age groups. A blanket approach is wrong."
He said the issues can't be dealt with by a quick fix solution.
"There needs to be a series of targeted solutions," he added.
"What we need to do is identify the specific challenges and issues facing different groups of young people.
"People who are best placed to do that are the teachers. Then we have to devise a serious of solutions, supports and interventions targeted on the things young people need.
"We've just come through over a decade of cuts in education. One of the first things we could do for a real recovery plan is to properly fund schools," he said.
"I have been calling for months for some group to be formed with the Education Authority or the Department of Education, working with teachers to allow them the space not to deal with immediate challenges, but to be thinking two, three years down the line.
"If that hasn't been done there's something wrong within the system. If it takes someone to come in to pull all those different strands together then that's what needs to be done, but the key thing here is to focus on solutions."
Professor Gallagher said that the big problem here with the UK Government is they keep coming up with headline-grabbing ideas to address challenge.
"A lot of the time this simply hasn't worked," he said.
"Chat has been focused on the notion of learning loss that implies that the last seven months have been a vacuum. Before Christmas it was very difficult with schools having to pivot very quickly. Schools did heroically and since then it has been a lot better. A lot of schools are running full online timetables.
"But we're not going to solve problems with a two week summer camp or an extra half hour on the school day for a month or two. There are more fundamental problems. A decade of cuts to education has made the school system incredibly fragile."
And he said the Stormont Executive needs to show it means what it says when it describes education as a priority.
"The Executive keeps saying education is one of their fundamental priorities, yet in the draft budget education has got the second lowest increase," he said."