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The Government has announced plans for class and year group bubbles in order to get schools in England reopened for September.
Class or year group bubbles will be allowed to enable schools, colleges and nurseries in England to return in September, the Secretary of State for Education announced today.
Gavin Williamson said children would be encouraged to keep their distance from each other and staff “where possible”, staff should also distance from each other and that there would be an increased cleaning regimes and a focus on handwashing. The guidance also aims to reduce the use of frequently shared items and to minimise contact in corridors.
He confirmed that mandatory attendance will be reimposed from September, meaning parents who do not send their children in could face fines.
The Government says that, where there is a positive case in a school or college, the Public Health England local health protection team will advise on the appropriate action, which could include small groups of young people and staff being asked to self-isolate for up to 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.
Testing may take place in some circumstances, for instance, of a class or a year group or, where necessary, the whole school. Any staff or children who develop symptoms will have access to a home testing kit, according to the Government and remote education will be in place for pupils who are self-isolating.
For nurseries, childminders and other early years providers, restrictions on group sizes will be lifted from 20th July.
Guidance published today is aimed at both schools, colleges and nurseries and parents about what to expect for their children. Separate guidance has been published for special needs schools.