How is the Government planning on keeping schools safe in September?

Recently there has been a lot of discussion about how schools can ensure that all year groups can return safely for the next academic year. 

According to the latest news from the Government, instead of relying on social distancing, they are planning on separating groups of children into "bubbles" to minimise contact between them. 

This will mean:

  • Grouping children together in groups or “bubbles"; a class in primary school and a year group in secondary school. 
  • Avoiding contact in school between these groups, with separate starting, finishing, lunch and break times.
  • Attendance will be compulsory with the threat of penalty fines. 
  • Tests and tracing in place for schools to use as needed. 
  • Regular cleaning of hands by children and staff, but masks will not be expected. 
  • Children and staff with symptoms will be told to stay out of school. 
  • There will be no big group events such as school assemblies, and classrooms will be arranged with forward facing desks. 
  • Schools will discourage the use of public transport, and only allow separate groups of students on buses at a time. 
  • Pupils will still be expected to continue with all their GCSEs and A-levels. 
  •     If a child in school has Covid symptoms they will have to be taken home straight away, and any staff waiting with them will have to wear protective equipment.
  •     If a pupil tests positive, schools will have to send home other pupils who have been in "close contact” with them, which includes those within one to two metres for more than 15 minutes.
  •     The Government is promising to give testing kits to all schools which they can then give to parents if pupils develop symptoms at school. If there are two confirmed cases within 14 days, or a rise in absences because of Covid-like symptoms, this could be counted as an outbreak within that school.

Information and guidelines are likely to develop and change before the next academic year, but we hope that these bullet points clarify the government’s current plans. 

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