Schools could be forced shut if just two pupils get coronavirus, new guidelines reveal
ENTIRE schools could be shut year groups if just two pupils get coronavirus, new guidelines have revealed.
The Government today published new advice to schools as Boris Johnson plans to get every child back in school this September.
Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates
Under the plans, any school that has two cases in a week could be viewed as a possible outbreak and forced to send people home.
This could see entire year groups forced to self-isolate, or even the school forced to shut.
It says: “Where there are two or more confirmed cases in a two-week period, health protection teams may ask a larger number of other children or young people to self-isolate at home as a precautionary measure.
“In some cases, health protection teams may recommend that a larger number of other pupils self-isolate at home as a precautionary measure – perhaps the whole site or year group. “
Health protection teams could also be called in to assess if rises in sickness or absences is deemed an outbreak.
They would then send out mobile testing units, with it possible entire schools are tested.
Other measures include:
- No in-class social distancing for primary pupils, with secondary students advised to stay one metre apart
- Teachers told to keep two metres away from pupils, and as far away from colleagues as possible
- Children to sit facing forwards in the same direction, with no circular tables
- No face coverings because they “interfere” with teaching and learning
- £120 fines for parents whose children don’t show up
- Some subjects dropped to allow students to catch up on English and maths
- A new focus on tackling “persistently disruptive” pupils because increased poor behaviour is more “likely” because of lockdown
- Routine Ofsted inspections to be suspended
Under the plans, schools in England are set to use “year bubbles” to get every child back learning this September.
They have been urged to separate entire year groups with staggered start and finish times to keep them apart during breaks and lunch.
The move would see bigger schools enact bubbles of 30, with entire classes kept together to keep them safe.
The advice also demands the “bubbles” stay together on public transport when coming into school.
It says the approach to travel should “align as far as possible with the principles underpinning the system of controls” followed by the schools.
Secondary school pupils could be isolated in their year groups – limiting their interactions with students of different ages.
Despite the new measures, the Government has told schools to focus on core subjects, with a full curriculum possibly not back til 2022.
At the moment parents are not being fined if they don’t send their kids in during the pandemic.
Only kids in reception, year one and year six have been allowed to return to the classrooms since the coronavirus outbreak, but other years can come back if there’s space.
Secondary schools in England have also been allowed to reopen for some students from Years 10, 11 and 12 since June 15.
The Government had to abandon plans to get every primary school child back in for a month before the summer.
But not all schools have reopened fully. Some do not have the staff and others do not have the space.
Most read in Politics