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To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to reduce the spread of covid-19 in school hubs for vulnerable children.
Whilst plans for wider opening of schools have been announced from 1 June at the earliest, in the meantime schools continue to be open to priority groups: vulnerable children and children of critical workers.
With significantly reduced pupil numbers, the Department understands that shared provision through multi-school cluster or hub arrangements may be considered. The Department has published guidance on cluster and hub provision which makes it clear that public health should be a priority and that provision through individual schools and settings, where possible, entails fewer people in a single setting and less social contact, and therefore a reduced risk of spreading the virus. The guidance is available here:
Where schools have no alternative but to close and cannot ‘pair up’ with a neighbouring school, larger hubs may be the only practical alternative. If this is the case, public health should remain a priority and any arrangement should follow the latest guidance on implementing protective measures in education settings, which is available here: