New guidance on the reduced isolation period for the Covid virus has caused confusion among school administrators, with the government accused of having “lower safety standards” in education.
People who test positive are now allowed to isolate for seven days instead of 10, if they return two negative results from the side flow.
It has left schools wrestling over advice that people should avoid socializing – especially in crowded and enclosed spaces – after ending isolation early in this way.
The government confirmed with independent Children can return to school as normal after their isolation after seven days with negative side-flows.
Tell Michael Ted, Principal of an elementary school in East Sussex independent: “It is frustrating that schools and teachers seem to have lower safety standards than the wider public.
“It is not clear to me why most people have had to avoid crowded areas, however, school children – the same group with the lowest vaccination levels – have been asked to return.”
“It appears likely that it increases the risks to their peers and the teachers they work with,” he added.
Others said there has been a lack of communication about what the new guidelines mean during a short isolation period specifically for students and teachers.
“There is no directive for schools. We have not received anything from DfE and will be back in school on Tuesday,” said Stuart Guest, a primary school principal in Birmingham. independent.
He said he wanted more “clarity and background” about decisions, such as whether a child who finished isolation after seven days would be allowed to return to the classroom with a vulnerable employee.
New guidelines say people who have tested positive for Covid can reduce their isolation period by doing two negative side flows on the sixth and seventh day – and stop isolating after the last.
In this section, the government says this “applies to children and young people who normally attend education or childcare settings”.
But Jeff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), said independent: “The new rules for the seven-day self-isolation period are confusing as to how this applies to places of education because they advise avoiding places that are crowded after the seventh day that are obviously difficult in a school or college.”
“We will seek clarifications from the government and will inform our members in due course.”
The union’s general secretary added: “It would be a good idea if the government thought more about these matters before announcing them.”
Concerns have also been raised about the potential impact of a staff shortage next term, which unions have warned has led to school closures last term and could send online learning into the new year.
The government has called on former teachers to register with supply agencies to boost the workforce in an effort to combat the shortage.
Retired and former teachers said independent They will not return to the classroom amid concerns for their safety during the Covid pandemic.