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CHILDREN are still set to remain in school during December despite the Omicron variant of Covid-19.
Here’s everything you need to know.
Schools are likely to remain open during December 2021Credit: PA:Press Association
Will schools close again?
It’s unlikely as the Government has vowed to do everything it can to keep schools open.
It appears that schools will not close early and will remain open throughout December.
The Department of Education has stated that pupils being sent home due to covid should only be done as a “last resort”.
Education secretary Nadhim Zahawi recognised that news of the Omicron variant “will have understandably caused concern” amidst parents, pupils and staff in education. However, he assured that children studying safely in classrooms was still the DofE’s main priority.
What are the current school Covid rules?
As of November 30, new guidelines include the re-introduction of face masks in education settings.
Face masks must be worn by secondary school students when they find themselves out of the classroom.
“Pupils or students (in Year 7 or above) should continue to wear face coverings on public and dedicated school transport, unless they are exempt,” they added.
NHS Test and Trace will be continuing contact tracing in schools. And the new DofE guidelines includes “introducing isolation for 10 days for close contacts of suspected Omicron cases.”
If your child comes into close contact with a suspected case, parents will be alerted by Test and Trace. They will be told to self-isolate and book a PCR test – with further instructions on what to do next.
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Lateral Flow tests
Increased testing in schools will take place in January 2022. The DofE said this would “help reduce transmission after a period of social mixing” over the festive season.
As a result, headteachers must ensure plentiful lateral flow test supplies. So that all pupils can be given one upon their return to school in the new year.
When did schools reopen?
From February 22, 2021, saw a phase return of Foundation pupils aged three to seven.
March 15, 2021 saw all remaining primary pupils return to school including secondary pupils.
Since April 13, 2021, voluntary asymptomatic testing is offered to pupils in all secondary school age groups (year seven and above).