Schools reopening plan revealed – year group ‘bubbles’, staggered breaks and no assemblies
WHOLE year groups will be put into ‘bubbles’, pupils will have staggered breaks & no assemblies in schools reopening plans outlined today.
As The Sun revealed, bubbles will be made bigger from 15 to 30 pupils to ensure there’s room for all kids to return, guidance revealed this morning.
Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates
The Education Secretary will give a statement to MPs in the House of Commons and give the Downing Street press conference tonight too.
Gavin Williamson said in a statement earlier: “Nothing can replace being in the classroom, so ever since schools, colleges and nurseries closed to most children, we have been working hard to ensure they can reopen as soon as possible.
“I want to reassure parents and families that we are doing everything we can to make sure schools, nurseries, colleges and other providers are as safe as possible for children and staff, and will continue to work closely with the country’s best scientific and medical experts to ensure that is the case.”
Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Jenny Harries, said: “A child’s education is essential to their healthy development – we know that missing too much school can have a negative impact on children’s mental and physical wellbeing.
“Everybody wants children to be safe and thankfully as we have learned more about COVID-19, the evidence has shown that the risk of severe disease in children is low.
“However, although the number of COVID-19 cases has declined, it is still in general circulation – so it important we ensure schools implement sensible precaution to reduce potential transmission of COVID-19 and minimise any risk to teachers and their pupils.”
Current 15 person restrictions on bubbles will be lifted to 30, 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.
Staff at Orchard Community Primary school have erected two large marquees on its playing fields for use as temporary classrooms[/caption]
It can welcome back all of its pupils before the end of the summer term[/caption]
Stay apart if you can
Schools should implement class or year sized bubbles, as well as encouraging staff and pupils, where they can, to keep their distance from each other and avoiding touching.
But strict social distancing won’t be possible in schools, the Government has said.
For those pupils travelling on home to school transport, pupils should sit with others from their group and remain in their class or year group “bubble” wherever possible, the guidance says too.
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.
That could mean that whole year groups have to isolate.
Mobile units will be sent out to the school, and testing will first focus on the person’s class, followed by their year group, then the whole school if necessary.
Kids will HAVE to go back to school from September, or their parents will face a £120 fine again.
For the last few months of the pandemic, the Government has turned a blind eye to worried parents who don’t want to sent their kids in.
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.
They should discuss that with their school first.
Pupils will be expected to face the front in all lessons[/caption]
And kids have to sit with their classmates on the bus – and not mix with other groups[/caption]
No assemblies or singing
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.
Schools should also consider staggered break times and lunch times (and time for cleaning surfaces in the dining hall between groups).
Kids can sit exams in autumn if they disagree with grades
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.
Like other workplaces which hav ereopened, 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.
Most read in News
CORONAVIRUS CRISIS – STAY IN THE KNOW
Don’t miss the latest news and figures – and essential advice for you and your family.