The Education Secretary has today published the Government’s plans to get all children and young people back in full time education from September.
As part of these plans, current restrictions on group sizes will be lifted to allow schools, colleges and nurseries to fully reopen to all children and young people as the infection rate falls. Schools will need to work with families to secure full attendance from the start of the academic year, with the reintroduction of mandatory attendance.
Some measures will remain in place to ensure the safety of teachers and children. The plans include:
- Schools are asked to keep children in class or year group sized ‘bubbles’ and encourage older children to keep their distance.
- Protective measures such as regular cleaning and handwashing.
- Where there is a positive case in a school or college, the Public Health England Local Protection team will advise on action, which could include small groups of young people and staff asked to self-isolate. Where an outbreak in a school is confirmed, for specific detailed investigations a mobile testing unit may be dispatched to test others who may have been in contact with the person who has tested positive. Testing will first focus on the person’s class, followed by their year group, then the whole school if necessary.
- Staff, pupils and their families will continue to have access to testing if they develop symptoms, and schools will have home testing kits for children and staff who would otherwise be unable to get a test.
- Schools will be expected to have plans in place to offer remote education to pupils who are self-isolating.
- For nurseries, childminders and other early years providers, restrictions on group sizes will be lifted from 20th July, increasing capacity from the start of the summer holiday.
To ensure pupils can catch up on lost learning, schools will be required to resume teaching a broad and balanced curriculum in all subjects.
This will work alongside the £1 billion support provided to primary and secondary schools through the Governments Covid catch-up package.
Exams will take place in 2021 and Ofqual is consulting on arrangements for those exams, including measures to mitigate any impact on pupils from time out of school.
Full guidance can be found below: