Schools: Coronavirus

Department for Education written question – answered on 29th May 2020.

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Photo of Lord Jones of Cheltenham Lord Jones of Cheltenham Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the risk of teachers infecting each other with COVID-19 when schools reopen.

Photo of Baroness Berridge Baroness Berridge Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade) (Minister for Women), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

Children, young people and teachers’ safety is our top priority. This is why we are taking a phased approach to opening for more children, to limit the risk of increasing the rate of transmission. We have issued guidance to childcare settings, schools and colleges on the protective measures they should put in place to reduce risk further.

This guidance includes advice to reduce the risk of transmission to and between teachers and other staff, for example, by keeping the same staff and teachers with the same class or groups, where possible, and staggering the use of staff rooms and offices to limit occupancy. Schools should talk to staff about plans for wider opening, including discussing whether training to implement protective measures would be helpful.

School teachers and staff are already eligible for testing, and all staff and students who are attending an education or childcare setting will have access to a test if they display symptoms of coronavirus. Where a child, young person or staff member tests positive, the rest of their class or group within their setting should be sent home and told to self-isolate for 14 days.

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