Today pupils across England and Wales will start returning to school full-time, with robust protective measures in place to keep them safe as they get back into the classroom to learn and to be with their friends.
• Teachers and other school staff have spent the summer months working tirelessly to make classrooms Covid-secure in preparation for a full return of pupils from today.
• All four of the UK’s chief medical officers have backed the full return of pupils to school, highlighting that as the risk of contracting coronavirus in school is very small, it is far more damaging for a children’s development, health and wellbeing to be away from school for any longer.
• Schools have put additional safeguards in place to ensure both teachers and staff are kept as safe as possible, including:
o Primary children will stay in groups to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.
o In areas of local restrictions, older children and staff will wear face coverings in communal areas where they can’t easily socially distance.
o Strict hygiene and cleaning protocols are in place and PPE is being distributed to every school, along with a small number of home testing kits for anyone who develops symptoms and is not able to get tested easily .
o Local authorities have been given an extra £40 million to increase school transport to reduce pressure on public transport, and pupils who can are being encouraged to walk or cycle to school.
• Getting children back into school has been a national priority for us. Nothing will have a greater effect on the life chances of our children than getting back to learning, back to playing and back to being kids again.