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Everything you need to know for the start of term I Tes

Ahead of the start of the spring period in England this week, the government announced new guidance and a set of measures to tackle the Omicron variant of Covid.

Here’s everything you need to know:

1 – Wearing masks “in classrooms where pupils are learning in grade 7 and above”

the Updated advice The face coverings, which apply to all classrooms and teaching spaces for students of Year 7 and above, will be in effect until January 26, when the Plan B regulations are currently scheduled to expire, at which point the guidelines will be revised.

The secondary school guidelines also apply to private schools that provide education to secondary school students. There were no additional guidance on the use of face coverings in primary schools.

2. Schools will be able to apply for air purifiers

The government said 7,000 air-purifying units will be provided to early years environments, schools and colleges, in an effort to improve ventilation in teaching spaces. Schools will have to prove that they are eligible for the units. All public schools can apply for these units if they meet the criteria.

Read our guide to eligibility criteria and how to apply here.

3. Ofsted inspections will be reduced

Inspections at Ofsted are now set to be scaled back this month, with the Department of Education (DfE) announcing that the watchdog will encourage schools that have been “significantly affected” by Covid to request a postponement.

In addition, the government said Ofsted would not require inspectors serving school or college leaders to conduct inspections – meaning the majority of the agency’s workforce would not be available.

4. Seven-day isolation period confirmed

As I mentioned for the first time before for youChanges to the isolation period required for Covid cases apply to schoolchildren.

The 10-day self-isolation period for those who score positive for a PCR test for Covid-19 has been reduced to seven days in most circumstances, unless you are unable to get tested for any reason, and the DfE confirmed that this applies to those attending schools.

Individuals can now perform rapid lateral flow tests on the sixth and seventh day of the self-isolation period. If the test results are negative, they do not have to complete the full 10 days of self-isolation.

5. The definition of a “vulnerable” child has been expanded

The definition of a weak child so far has been:

  • Those who have a social worker
  • Those who have an education, health and care plan
  • A group of children who are considered locally, including by local settings and authorities, to be ‘otherwise at risk’

In an email to chiefs, the DfE said this has now been expanded to include:

  • Children known to children’s welfare services in the past
  • Children whose home conditions may be particularly difficult due to domestic violence, parental abuse, adult mental health problems, and drug and alcohol addiction

6. It is recommended that measures be taken to keep as many students as possible in school

The Minister of Education has acknowledged that in cases where employee absenteeism is significant, distance learning is avoided would be “impossible”.

However, he stated that as many pupils as possible should receive face-to-face education as possible.

Principals have been asked to consider integrating class groups to ensure that pupils remain in school during periods of high teacher absenteeism due to Covid.

The Ministry of Education has also notified schools that where there is a need for distance education, live streaming of lessons is the “preferred method”.

for more details , look here.

7. Any exams planned will go ahead in January

The government says all planned January exams must continue, and that schools should contact the awarding organization for any adjustments to processes deemed necessary.

8. Re-isolation rules for close contacts

As before, those who have been fully vaccinated, or pupils and young adults between the ages of 5 and 18 and a half, who have been identified as having had close contact with someone with Covid, should have a lateral flow test every day for seven days, and unless If they test positive or develop symptoms at any time, they should continue to attend their venues as usual.

Children under 5 years of age should not do daily testing or self-isolate and must attend their provision unless they receive a positive PCR test result.

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