As summer holidays draw to a close and many pupils return to school this week, the country’s largest education union has warned families that Covid restrictions may be put in place by the end of September. These tougher measures are expected to cause significant disruptions to learning.
These warnings come amid a rise in Covid cases in the country.
Most classrooms are welcoming back pupils over the next fortnight, but first days are staggered from Wednesday onwards.
On Monday, Mary Bousted, the joint general secretary of the National Education Union, told the Telegraph: “We have much higher prevalence now in the community than it was.
“So we’re going in with much higher rates of prevalence into schools where we are relying on one mitigation, which is lateral flow testing.
“My prediction is that very shortly we are going to see schools all over the country in their hundreds having to operate contingency frameworks,” Bousted told the Telegraph.
“But what you’re doing there is shutting the stable door after the Covid horse has bolted.”
The Department for Education has vowed to provide 300,000 carbon dioxide monitors to schools in England from September in order to give an insight into where airflow is limited and where the virus can spread quicker.
Schools in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, no longer require social distancing measures as well as “bubble” groups, which required pupils to stay in a certain group.
Face masks will not be required in schools in England and Wales, but they are still recommended in crowded spaces including school buses.