School bubbles scrapped so all children can return in September

Details of the school reopening plan for September have been confirmed by the Education Secretary this morning.

Gavin Williamson has today unveiled plans for all children and young people to be able to return to full-time education from the new school year.

The Government says schools, colleges and nurseries will be able to fully reopen and mandatory attendance will be brought back as coronavirus infection rates continue to fall.

To do this, current restrictions on class sizes will be lifted. At the moment children are placed in ‘bubbles’ of up to 15 children to prevent transmission of the virus, but these will be expanded to class or year group sizes of 30 pupils.

Government guidance says Covid-19 secure measures will still be in place, with schools being asked to keep children within these bubbles and encourage older children to distance from each other where possible.

Visit our live blog for the latest updates: Coronavirus news live

The usual preventative measures including hand washing and regular cleaning will remain in place.

Mr Williamson said: ‘I know these past three months have been some of the most challenging that schools have faced.

‘What they have achieved to make sure that young people are kept safe and can continue to learn during this period is remarkable, and I am incredibly grateful for that.

‘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.

‘We have already seen more than 1.5 million children and young people return, but we must make sure all pupils can go back to school in September, giving them the opportunity to thrive and fulfill their potential.

‘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.’

If there is a positive case in a school or college, Public Health England will advise on appropriate action to be taken, which may include asking small groups of pupils and staff to self-isolate for 14 days.

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.

If an outbreak is confirmed at a school, a mobile testing unit may be dispatched and testing will be rolled out where deemed necessary.

Schools will be expected to have plans in place to offer remote education to pupils who are self-isolating.

This is a breaking story, more to follow.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected]

For more stories like this, check our news page.

Source: Read Full Article