Plans announced for return to full-time education
A range of proportionate, protective measures to ensure all children and young people can return to full-time education in the autumn term have been published on the Government website (external link).
This latest guidance sets out a Public Health England-endorsed ‘system of controls’ to minimise the risks of coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission, as opposed to a ‘one size fits all’ approach for every possible scenario.
Depending then on a school’s specific circumstances, this will – as much as possible – include:
- Grouping children together
- Avoiding contact between groups
- Arranging classrooms with forward facing desks
- Staff maintaining distance from pupils and other staff as much as possible
These plans have been adapted from the arrangements already in place from the ongoing summer term, with the essential measures being the following:
- A requirement that people who are ill stay at home
- Robust hand and respiratory hygiene
- Enhanced cleaning arrangements
- Active engagement with NHS Test and Trace
- Formal consideration of how to reduce contacts and maximise distancing between those in school wherever possible and minimise potential for contamination so far as is reasonably practicable
Public health advice on how to minimise coronavirus (COVID-19) risks (external link) is also included in this guidance, along with contingency plans for any local coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreaks (external link).
This autumn term guidance is largely replicated in the proposed arrangements for the full reopening of special schools and other specialist settings (external link).
However, there’s some more specific information as well for early years settings (external link), mainstream schools (external link) and further education (FE) colleges and providers (external link) on the steps they will need to take to ensure children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) can return to full-time provision.
There are further details too on individual risk assessments for children and young people with education, health and care (EHC) plans (external link) and the temporary changes to SEND legislation (external link).
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