Schools reopening explained: Everything you need to know ahead of September’s return to class
BRITAIN took a massive step towards all children returning to school today as the Government unveiled its plans to have everyone back in September.
The Government published new guidance today on how kids can go back to school and return to a normal life.
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Now The Sun has gone through the guidance to explain everything you need to know about schools reopening in September.
The current 15 person restrictions on bubbles will be lifted back to normal size, as the infection rate continues to fall.
For nurseries, childminders, and other early years providers, restrictions on group sizes will be lifted from 20 July, increasing capacity from the start of the summer holiday.
The bubbles will be across entire year groups
The Government has admitted strict social distancing won’t be possible, but urged staff and pupils to keep their distance where they can.
With entire year groups in bubbles, pupils are advised to stay in these groups.
This is also the case on public transport, with kids told to sit with others from their group, class or year group wherever possible.
If 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.
That could mean that whole year groups or even schools have to isolate.
Schools will be sent home test kits for any kids who fall ill to be able to take them as quickly as possible.
Any local outbreaks would see schools shut for everyone but key workers again – like in the early days of the pandemic back in March.
If a child has covid symptoms they should wait to be picked up in a room on their own with door closed and window open.
Teachers should wear PPE if they have to get close to someone who has suspected symptoms.
FINES FOR NOT GOING
Kids will HAVE to go back to school from September, or their parents will face a £120 fine again.
Only if a child or young person is unable to attend school or college on medical advice or they are living in a household with someone who is extremely clinically vulnerable, will they not be fined.
The Government added that it trusts headteachers to know individual situations best.
Groups should be kept apart, meaning that schools should avoid large gatherings such as assemblies with several bubble groups, the guidance says.
Singing, wind and brass playing should not take place in larger groups such as school choirs and ensembles, or school assemblies, either.
To keep pupils apart, schools will stagger break and lunch times (and time for cleaning surfaces in the dining hall between groups).
Exam boards will be providing students with calculated grades this summer.
But there will be an opportunity for students to sit exams in the autumn if they don’t agree with their grades – and Ofqual has confirmed these exams will be available in all subjects.
Exams are set to go ahead as normal in summer 2021, it was confirmed today.
Schools will be able to ditch subjects like art and drama to focus on catching kids up on core subjects in the first few months and weeks back.
But all schools should aim to return to the normal curriculum in all subjects by summer term 2021.
Like other workplaces which have reopened, schools will need to have extra cleaning, and reduce sharing items.
Kids will need to have minimal contact with each other in corridors – and hanging around outside school gates will be discouraged too.
Pupils should have their own pens and pencils and not share.
Sports equipment and art supplies must be cleaned regularly.
Classrooms being used by different classes must be cleaned in between.
Regular handwashing must take place too – such as more hand sanitizer at the school gates, kids must wash their hands after breaktime, whenever they move rooms, and before and after eating.
Toilets should be cleaned more often too, and schools might want to put in extra sinks.
Kids will be able to go on days out to museums and to visit theme parks at the end of term from September.
But ‘Parents Get Lost’ and other overnight stay trips are still cancelled for the time being.
Community activities such as holiday clubs, tuition and extra lessons can run from this summer, as long as they follow basic safety protocols.
In a much needed boost for families, kids could soon get back to music lessons, extra tuition and other activities.
The new rules mean children will be assigned to one group or class, and have to stay in it for all future sessions.
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