Parents of children who are failing to engage with home schooling have been warned that work at home is still expected to be completed or they could be marked absent.
Instructions from the Education Authority say that schools should investigate why work is not being done.
And should there be no valid reason for the disengagement from school work, pupils will be marked as absent - something which could go on their permanent school attendance record.
It has led to fears amongst some parents who are struggling to manage home schooling due to long hours at work, or who do not have sufficient access to devices or the internet, that their children could be unduly impacted by any failure to complete work.
Parents whose children do not complete the assigned work are being required to provide a valid reason. It is understood some primary schools have contacted parents advising that "children who are not providing any work at all will be marked accordingly".
In some instances parents are now being asked to provide photographic proof that their children's work has been completed.
Dr Graham Gault, president of the National Association of Head Teachers, said principals have now been placed in an uncomfortable position where the needs of individual children have to be balanced against the need for continued education.
"It is extremely difficult and principals are, on the whole, trying to be flexible with the circumstances of home life whilst still meeting the requirements that the Department has put upon them," he said.
"Principals have been placed in a very difficult situation sitting uncomfortably between the realities that our parents face and the DE requirement to record if children are or are not engaging outside of school.
"Whilst no principal wants to be in touch with parents who are, perhaps, struggling to balance remote learning activities with work and other responsibilities, they do have to record attendances in a variety of ways for the Department of Education.
"More importantly, however, principals will also want to ensure that children are okay and that any barriers to accessing learning can be reduced as much as possible."
The Education Authority said all schools have received guidance on how they should manage remote learning.
"The Department of Education has overall responsibility for the provision of direction and guidance to schools in relation to pupil attendance, during periods of 'normal' schooling as well as periods when a majority of pupils are required to learn from home," an EA spokesperson said.
"DE issued a circular to all schools on December 16, 2020 reflecting the changing circumstances. The major development was the introduction of six new codes to reflect scenarios relating to a range of modes of pupil attendance and participation in learning, arising from the Covid-19 context.'
"The majority of pupils should be undertaking remote learning and attendance should be recorded as 'Covid-19 Learning from home - Social Distancing'. If pupils are not engaging in learning then schools need to ascertain why."
Other codes open to senior teachers for a failure to provide evidence of work from home include: No reason provided; other absence; no reason yet provided; and Covid-19 Self-Isolating - no evidence of learning from home.
"Further operational guidelines were outlined to all school principals on January 8, in relation to a range of issues arising from the revised arrangements," the EA said.
"Principal discretion is important. Some pupils may not be capable of engaging in remote learning. Principals and senior teachers should use a code that reflects the individual's circumstances."