The British government has announced its plans for English school reopening in September even amidst new COVID-19 cases and deaths. “I want all children back in school as quickly as possible, and certainly by September, and I think that’s achievable. I actually think that many more children could be back now if there had been a better plan and better leadership,” comments Keir Starmer, Opposition Labour Leader
A string of measures has been drafted which includes penalties on schools for using the rota system and compulsory attendance of all students. Pupils are expected to attend schools five days a week failing which parents will have to pay fines. Schools are mandated to maintain distance between staff and pupils and arranging classrooms with forward-facing desks.
The previous measure of class bubbles with 15 pupils a class will be scrapped off by Education Secretary Gavin Williamson. Initially a cap on student intake or bubbles was introduced as an anti-infection measure.
Children will not be quarantining if one member tests positive. Instead risk assessment will be implemented to determine who has come in close contact with the child. However, in case an outbreak is detected in school, the whole batch has to isolate and quarantine at home albeit this has been kept aside for further consideration on a case-by-case basis.
Teachers have been directed to keep classroom windows open and prohibit access to football for 48 hours between use and send sick wards back home.
Schools are not compelled to return to the full curriculum by summer 2021 since they have to concentrate on pupils who have lost substantial learning time.
“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,” comments Gavin Williamson.