Hundreds of schools may be subjected to stricter regulations. The union warns of covid limitations.
As pupils prepare to return to in-person lectures, unions have warned schools that stronger Covid measures would have to be reinstated in the coming months.
As the summer vacation comes to an end and many students return to school this week, the country’s main education union has issued a warning to parents that Covid limits may be implemented by the end of September.
Learning is predicted to be significantly disrupted as a result of the stricter restrictions.
These cautions come as the number of Covid cases in the country continues to climb.
Over the next fortnight, most classes will welcome back students, but first days will be staggered starting on Wednesday.
“We have considerably higher prevalence now in the community than it was,” Mary Bousted, the National Education Union’s joint national secretary, told the Telegraph on Monday.
“As a result, we’re going into schools with considerably greater incidence rates and relying on one mitigation, lateral flow testing.
“Safety procedures have not been abandoned in Scotland… They have maintained social distance where possible, and they are still wearing masks in secondary schools.”
All secondary school students in England are required to complete two lateral-flow Covid tests three to five days apart.
Schools may begin testing before the start of the school year and stagger the completion of the assessments.
Students in Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland, on the other hand, are encouraged to take home or community-based assessments before the start of the school year.
“My guess is that in the not-too-distant future, we will see hundreds of schools throughout the country using contingency frameworks,” Bousted told the Telegraph.
“However, what you’re doing is closing the stable door after the Covid horse bolted.”
From September, the Department for Education has promised to deliver 300,000 carbon dioxide sensors to schools in England, allowing officials to see where ventilation is restricted and the virus can spread more quickly.
In England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, social distancing techniques such as “bubble” groups, which compelled students to stay in a specific group, are no longer necessary in schools.
In England and Wales, face masks will not be needed in schools, but they are still recommended in busy places such as school buses.