The New Coronavirus Measures For Schools Reopening In September
2 July 2020, 12:43 | Updated: 2 July 2020, 12:44
The Education Secretary has announced it is mandatory for pupils to return to school in September.
Pupils across England must return to school in September, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has announced, with students being restricted to “class or year sized bubbles” to keep the possible virus transmission to a minimum.
Teachers will also have to overhaul the curriculum to address any gaps pupils may have in their knowledge, following the coronavirus lockdown which began in March.
To permit a full reopening of schools, a number of restrictions on groups sizes will be lifted but mixing of year groups will be “banned”.
This means assemblies amongst multiple year groups will no longer go ahead and break times will be staggered, as well as start and end times to the school day.
Within the classrooms, windows must be kept wide open where possible and desk placing should mean the pupils are side by side.
Older children and staff will also be asked to “keep their distance from each other” where possible.
If there are two or more confirmed cases of coronavirus within a week, a large number of children may be asked to self-isolate at home “as a precautionary measure.”
Mobile testing units could also be despatched to schools with confirmed outbreaks to complete “detailed investigations” in who has been infected and who they may have been in contact with.
The Education Secretary added: “Nothing can replace being in the classroom,” so teachers will have to ensure children “catch up on lost learning.”
Pupils joining secondary school may have to re-cover parts of their Year Six curriculum and GCSCE students may be asked to drop subjects so they can focus on English and maths grades.
Mr Williamson also wants to “reassure” parents schools are “as safe as possible for children and staff.”
England's Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr Jenny Harries, added: “The evidence has shown that the risk of severe disease in children is low" but warned coronavirus is "still in general circulation".