Schools in England have to wait a fortnight to find out how the government plans to bring each child back to school in September, unions and teachers being confused by the operation of a bubble of 30 children per class.
Boris Johnson and Gavin Williamson said Friday they plan to speed up the return of students to class, the Secretary of Education saying the government plans to expand the bubbles by 15 “to include the whole class” .
The Department of Education has not offered any guidance on how schools can plan for their return to the new school year, but this will likely involve narrowing the gap between students to one meter and following similar guidance elsewhere .
Unions angry over lack of clarity, 53-page Northern Ireland Department of Education document may offer insight into daily school life in September, that implies:
Stay in a class:
High school students could be asked to stay in a class throughout the day, with teachers moving between lessons. Meals may be delivered to classrooms to save space and prevent “bubbles” from spreading germs. It is unclear what will happen to art, science and technology equipment, such as canvases and Bunsen burners. Primary schools followed similar measures, with students heading for staggered supervised breaks which are often more organized than normal playing hours.
Do not bring anything from home or from home:
Students will be encouraged not to bring bags to school and they will also be told not to take anything from the classroom. Hard-to-clean equipment could be stored, which was done with toys in the younger classes in England. It is unclear what will happen to children who bring books to school or do their homework.
Lessons in the dining rooms:
To ensure that schools have enough space to teach, the DoE indicates that the dining rooms and meeting rooms can be temporarily converted to make room for several classes. Where there is still not enough space, schools are encouraged to make distance learning a possibility. There have been calls, including from Labor leader Keir Starmer, to use empty libraries and recreation centers as makeshift schools to create additional space.
No need for PPE:
The guidelines state that children should not wear PPE at school and that staff should only wear PPE in very limited circumstances, such as giving medication to a student.
Students must stay one meter apart
Pupils should stay three feet apart in classrooms. In Northern Ireland, some principals have stated that a requirement for a social distance of one meter would prevent them from welcoming all students at the same time. The scientists asked Boris Johnson to relax the two-meter rule.
Students at a school in Corringham, Essex, obey new rules of social distancing, class size being limited to 15 students at a time
Northern Ireland’s Department of Education released guidelines on Friday how classrooms could be set up early in the fall term
Schools should be prepared to exclude students who do not comply with the new Covid-19 rules.
The Department of Education has warned that schools should “ make arrangements to sanction, up to and including exclusion, students who deliberately refuse to adhere to social distancing provisions and who cough or spit deliberately to students or staff, endangering them. ”
Speaking during a visit to a Hertfordshire primary school on Friday, Boris Johnson said: “ To be absolutely clear, I absolutely agree that we want to bring back every child, in every year group , in each school.
The Prime Minister has said that he “absolutely” wants students of all ages to return to class five days a week in September.
With the publication of detailed plans in Northern Ireland, teachers’ unions are asking the government for more clarity on how classrooms will return to normal in England.
Children’s Commissioner Anne Longfield told The Sun: “ With Ireland reducing social distance to one meter in schools, this seems like a good opportunity for the government to see if schools in England can do this. likewise.
“Children and parents have sacrificed themselves to fight this virus.
“The well-being and education of millions have been disrupted and the most disadvantaged children are at risk of falling further behind.”
In other news on coronaviruses:
- Government accused of downplaying coronavirus deaths at the height of the crisis
- Scientists have paved the way for Boris Johnson to reduce the two-meter rule to one meter
- Pubs have the green light to drink outside – but bettors are not allowed to drink at the bar
- Labor leader Keir Starmer called on government to create “coherent plan to reopen our classrooms
- Small schools in England prepare to open to all pupils on Monday, but still with classes of 15
- Kevin Courtney of the National Education Union (NEU) said: “The Prime Minister’s hopes are not enough”.
In his most emphatic statement to date, Boris Johnson said his intention was “absolutely” that all students return to school full time by September.
All pupils who return to school are encouraged to wash their hands regularly, this remains a key element of the guidelines published on Friday by Northern Ireland
Paul Whiteman, secretary general of the NAHT school leaders’ union, said: “ The desire to bring everyone back is okay, but we need to know what the government is thinking and what the scenarios are.
“This will give school communities what they need to spend this term and plan for the new school year in September.”
Kevin Courtney, deputy secretary general of the National Education Union (NEU), added: “The Prime Minister’s hopes are not enough”.
“If the requirements for social separation – in order to stop a second peak – were reduced even to 1 meter, then most schools could not have 30 children in a class,” he added.
Labor leader Keir Starmer told The Mirror the government must develop a “coherent national plan to reopen our classrooms safely with those who know our schools best: parents, teachers, unions and local boards “
Starmer called on the government to reuse empty libraries, recreation centers and town halls in schools, as well as to reverse any loopholes in realizing that the shutdown of the coronavirus has worsened.
He added, “None of this beyond the capabilities of the government. It just requires focus, leadership and determination. ”
Geoff Barton, secretary general of the Association of School and College Leaders, said The temperature: “Everyone wants all children to go back to school full time from September. It would not be possible to do this by limiting the class size to 15. You would need twice as many classrooms and twice as many teachers.
Tables have been used as barriers to enforce two-meter distance rules at Orfu Gable Hall in Corringham – but the Northern Ireland Department of Education is preparing to return from school with a small gap d ” one meter between students
Northern Ireland plans encourage two-meter gap between students and staff – similar to current conditions in English classes (above)
“The Secretary of Education has indicated that there will be other directions in the next two weeks. It is very important that this advice is provided to schools and colleges as soon as possible. They are doing their best to put plans in place for September, but so far they have had to do it in the dark without any contribution from the government.
The directors of the Academy ask the government to give clear directions in the next two weeks.
The letter, signed by figures like The Harris Federation and Future Academies, read as follows: “ The current situation, where schools are partially open to some of our students from time to time, does very little to fill the gap. ‘widening gap in academic achievement’. The telegraph reported.
“We urge the government to announce a clear plan in the next two weeks on how it plans to make it compulsory for all students to return to school in September full time.”
Calling on her government to bring children back to school, Conservative MP Lucy Allan said: “ There is a very real risk that if schooling is interrupted for much longer, an entire generation will suffer long-term harm for their education and their future prospects. This government cannot let that happen. “
Some small primary schools in England are preparing to reopen completely on Monday, although with smaller classes.
Eleanor Palmer Primary School in north London has installed a special bin for children to wash their hands in the school playground. Children can open the taps of the long metal sink with their knees, preventing any risk of spreading germs with their hands.
Boris Johnson tried an outdoor sink on Friday during his visit to Bovingdon Elementary School in Hertfordshire. Sinks are one of the new measures taken in schools to improve cleanliness following the coronavirus pandemic
The school has only one class per year and has successfully reopened the school by dividing each class into morning and afternoon sessions.
In a parent newsletter shared by The temperature, Kate Frood, the school principal, said: “We do not know the ideal half-days for your work, but we think that it is better for learning because it allows continuity and progression of the learning without gaps. ”
Sherborne Prep School in Dorset will welcome its students again and scan them with a thermometer before sending them to classes of up to 15 students.
In Dartmoor, 35 students from Princetown Community Elementary School return Monday. The school has only two classes – one for children from reception to the second year and the other for the third, fourth and fifth years. It will divide into three classes next week.
Speaking about school projects in England in September, Williamson said: “Over the next few weeks we will be publishing more information and tips to help schools prepare for a full return in September.
“We are working across government and with the sector to ensure these plans are fully in place so that this can happen.”
When asked for details on how English lessons would revert to full size, the education ministry said, “ The government has announced its clear intention for all students to return to school in September today, with more information and advice will be published in the coming weeks. ‘
Yesterday, England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales all agreed that the Covid-19 national alert level should drop.
On Friday, the Joint Biosecurity Center recommended that the Covid-19 alert be reduced from level 4 to level 3.
In a joint statement, they said: “ The Joint Biosafety Center recommended that the COVID-19 alert level be increased from level 4 (an epidemic of COVID-19 is in general circulation; transmission is high or increasing exponential) at level 3 (a COVID -19 epidemic is in general circulation).
“The marketing managers for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have reviewed the evidence and agree with this recommendation to move to level 3 across the UK.
“There has been a steady decrease in the cases we have seen in the four countries, and this continues. This does not mean that the pandemic is over. The virus is still in general circulation and localized epidemics are likely to occur.
“We have made progress against the virus through the efforts of the public and we need the public to continue to follow the guidelines carefully to ensure that this progress continues.”