SCHOOL bubbles will be scrapped from August 16 following an outcry from teachers and MPs, Gavin Williamson has announced.
The Education Secretary told the House of Commons that the disruptive measures would be coming to an end next month in a boost for pupils.
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Schools will also be transferring contact tracing to the NHS test and trace system, Mr Williamson added.
He said: “Keeping children in consistent groups was essential to control the spread of the virus when our population was less vaccinated.
“We recognise that the system of bubbles and isolation is causing disruption to many children’s education.
“That is why we’ll be ending bubbles and transferring contact tracing to the NHS Test and Trace system for early years settings, schools and colleges.”
The Education Sec also announced…
- Schools will no longer need to stagger start and finish times
- Kids will no longer need to wear masks in communal areas
- Children will be contacted by Test and Trace, informed they’ve been in contact with a positive case, and advised to take a PCR test
- Social distancing measures will end in schools
- Fully vaccinated teachers will be able to remain in the classroom, from the autumn term
Mr Williamson told the Commons: “I do not think it is acceptable that children should face greater restrictions over and above those of wider society, especially since they have given up so much to keep older generations safe during this pandemic.
“Where there are outbreaks schools and colleges may be contacted by NHS Test and Trace and they will also work with local health teams as they currently do now.
“We’re also setting out new rules that mean from the 16th of August children will only need to isolate if they have tested positive for Covid-19.”
Around 8.5 per cent of state school pupils did not attend class for Covid-19-related reasons on July 1.
This is up from 5.1 per cent on June 24 and 3.3 per cent June 17, according to Department for Education (DfE) statistics.