Significant changes to Covid-19 school rules expected for autumn as testing could replace isolating
29 June 2021, 10:07 | Updated: 29 June 2021, 10:09
Government officials are looking into ways to end self-isolation in school children as England continue to ease out of lockdown.
Students should expect significant changes to Covid-19 isolation rules later this year, it has been reported.
This comes after and Education Minister confirmed on Tuesday that the Government are looking into ways to end self-isolating for school children, something which can have a major affect on their wellbeing and learning.
Minister Nick Gibb said that trials are underway in order to see if daily contact testing could be an alternative to isolation.
According to Gibb, around three per cent of students are currently self-isolating across England, but while this figure appears high, Gibb shared that it is lower than it was in the autumn.
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The Department of Education have said that ministers have been writing to secondary schools, requesting that they prepare to replace isolating with testing.
A spokesperson for the department said they are "provisionally" asking secondary schools and colleges to "prepare for on-site testing when students return for the new academic year".
They added that this is "so that schools are ready in case it is needed to keep as many children as possible in face-to-face education".
Commissioner Dame Rachel de Souza is keen for schools to ditch isolating rules following the "real trauma" young people have gone through with lockdowns.
She told The Daily Telegraph: "With bubbles, I think everybody would like it if we could get back to normal, as soon as possible. Obviously we have to be safe, and we have to take advice, but it’s very very restrictive.
"The experience of lockdown has been a real trauma, and I think we shouldn’t underestimate it. Children are really troubled, and it’s right across the board."
Current school isolating rules:
- Children should not come into school if they have Covid-19 symptoms
- Do not come into school if someone in their household or support bubble had Covid-19 symptoms
- Children must isolate with their families if they are returning from a country that legally requires a quarantine period
- Children should not come into school if they have the virus, or have been in close contact with someone who has the virus
- Isolate for ten days from the day symptoms started/ from the day they received a positive test