'The threats which have been issued by the Red Hand Defenders have demoralised all of those involved in education in the province. There is a simple solution - those who have issued these threats to teachers must withdraw them immediately.
'ATL is determined to do all we can to get schools back to normal. We are particularly concerned for colleagues including caretakers and head teachers who are often on school premises early in the morning before the security operation begins. They are in a very vulnerable position.
'This is also the time of year for school open evenings and parent meetings. In the current climate our advice is that school-governing bodies should be extra cautious and should possibly consider postponing such evenings until we return to a state of normality. ATL has contacted all schools in North Belfast to assure them of our continued support.'