Please see below from Leeds City Council regarding the 1 metre plus change.
The Government followed up on its announcement about the change to wider social distancing rules by sending out guidance through the Department for Education (DfE) bulletin on Wednesday stating that ‘primary schools should continue to operate in groups of no more than 15 and that secondaries should not exceed 25% of year 10 and year 12 pupils in school at any one time’. The DfE guidance also noted ‘that the recent announcement will give heads and teachers the confidence to maximise capacity within classrooms, ahead of all pupils returning from September.’
There is some confusion regarding the paragraph in the advice that stated: “Primary pupils do not, and have not needed to be kept apart in the classroom, and we are encouraging primary heads to use the capacity they have and the flexibility we have given them to bring more groups of children back into school, if they can work within the protective measures.”
We thought it would be useful to make the Leeds position on this clear.
Schools should continue to implement and maintain the 2m social distancing measures already in place and not plan to reduce this to 1m+.
The government have said that from 4th July “where it is not possible to stay two metres apart, guidance will allow people to keep a social distance of ‘one metre plus’. This means staying one metre apart, plus mitigation which reduce the risk of transmission”.
The current guidance issued to schools regarding social distancing has not changed and schools are already organised to ensure that it is possible to stay 2m apart.
1m+ would require additional measures, such as face coverings, to be used routinely. These are presently used in schools only in limited and specific circumstances and current government guidance states that:
“Wearing a face covering or face mask in schools or other education settings is not recommended. Face coverings may be beneficial for short periods indoors where there is a risk of close social contact with people you do not usually meet and where social distancing and other measures cannot be maintained, for example on public transport or in some shops. This does not apply to schools or other education settings. Schools and other education or childcare settings should therefore not require staff, children and learners to wear face coverings. Changing habits, cleaning and hygiene are effective measures in controlling the spread of the virus. Face coverings (or any form of medical mask unless instructed to be used for specific clinical reasons) should not be worn in any circumstance by those who may not be able to handle them as directed (for example, young children, or those with special educational needs or disabilities) as it may inadvertently increase the risk of transmission.”
Leeds City Council’s guidance to schools is that the current 2 metre social distancing requirements remain the same until further notice. Therefore, Tranmere Park Primay School’s current plans and risk assessments remain the same as before the government’s most recent announcements.