Government Announcement - impact on Mildmay Junior School
Yesterday afternoon Health Secretary Sajid Javid and Education Secretary Gavin Williamson addressed the house of commons regarding changes to restrictions in line with the latest step of the roadmap. Gavin Williamson said that step four of the roadmap "does not mean the end of the pandemic, but the government is moving to a new phase of managing Covid".
We have also now received the latest DFE guidance on the ways in which schools should operate in response to COVID 19 aligned to step 4 of the roadmap. It is important to note that changes will come into place after 19th July, only if step 4 of the roadmap is agreed, and we are advised to maintain all existing arrangements until the end of term, 21st July.
The main changes affecting Mildmay Junior School from September are:
- Removal of the requirement to prevent mixing and keep consistent ‘bubbles’
- Removal of contact tracing responsibilities
- Self-isolation of close contacts will not apply to under 18s or those who have been ‘double jabbed’ (from 16th Aug)
- Addition of PCR tests instead of self-isolation for close contacts
- Face coverings no longer required in schools
- Removal of the need to stagger start and end times
- Removal of restrictions on gatherings and group size
This means that, subject to the national government agreeing to go to step 4 in July, we will be able to start the new term operating within our normal schedule, we will be able to host events for mixed year groups, we will be able to invite parents in to school for meetings or events and confirmed cases will not result in the immediate closure of 'bubbles'.
I will write again giving more details of our September plan once the full details of the changes have been digested and the confirmation of Step 4 has been given nationally. Of course, if central government has to make changes to this plan and reinstate restrictions, I will advise of the impact on the school just as soon as I am able.