Social distancing of a metre is guide for schools

EDUCATION has outlined to parents and carers the changes and additional cleaning and hygiene measures being put in place ready for the reopening of all States schools on Monday.

(Montage by Sophie Rabey)
(Montage by Sophie Rabey)

It includes details on alterations to breaks and lunch times, as well as activities that will not take place, such as singing, woodwind and brass music lessons, assemblies, after school clubs and events, plus close contact lessons where students need to work together or share equipment.

But the committee said it was delighted to be able to welcome students back.

‘As part of the exciting news that we are moving into phase four of the island’s exit strategy from lockdown, and in line with updated Public Health advice, we are delighted that all students will be returning to States-run primary, secondary and special schools on Monday 8 June,’ a spokesman said.

‘While this is fantastic news for our school communities, we also recognise that parents and carers may have questions or concerns.

‘We have tried to address some of those key issues in this guidance, but if you think we’ve missed anything please contact your child’s school as they will be happy to help.’

Regular and ‘enhanced’ cleaning will take place throughout schools, with respiratory hygiene methods promoted.

Unnecessary mixing is discouraged with advice being given by Public Health that in terms of social distancing ‘there does not need to be a specific measurement but, where practicable, one metre is being used as a guide’.

The guidance states that packed lunches will need to be brought to school as no canteens or vending machines will be available. These will be eaten in assigned classrooms or outside, potentially at staggered times to limit contact.

Although no contact sports or school sports competitions will take place for now, PE lessons will take place as a benefit to health and wellbeing.

Students are also encouraged to bring their own water bottle, equipment and stationery.

Those who display Covid-19 symptoms – headache, muscle aches, blocked nose, fever, sore throat, cough, shortness of breath or loss of taste or smell – or are unwell are asked not to attend school to avoid any risk to other students and advised to wait 48 hours after the symptoms have cleared before returning. If these symptoms occur at school the student will be isolated and will need to be collected.

The wearing of PPE [personal protection equipment] is not recommended by Public Health.

Individual schools may make contact with parents separately about start times, while also providing further details on any decision on uniforms, how lunch breaks will operate, and changes to drop-off and pick-up.

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