Lessons must continue
With many schools across Somerset returning in the next 7 days, government is insisting lessons should continue. As COVID infection levels increase, new measures will be put in place to protect children in school. Face masks will be compulsory in classrooms (except those with a medical exemption) from the start of the new term. The measure is for children in year 7 and above. This will be at least until 26 January, with a further review promised to consider if that should be extended.
The National Education Union agrees with the measure. In a statement it noted: “masks in secondary school classrooms are overdue. While there are drawbacks, it is clear the Omicron variant poses a “very significant additional risk”
Today Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi has announced an additional 7,000 air cleaning units will be provided. This will be for early years, schools and colleges to improve ventilation in teaching spaces. As there are over 24,000 schools and colleges around the country, it begs the question “who will get one?”
Meanwhile Ofsted has already confirmed that it will not be inspecting secondary schools. At least not during the first week of term in January, as schools undertake on-site pupil testing.