COVID-19 New National Restrictions: Guidance for Schools

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05 November, 2020

Ruth Rule-Mullen
Partner and Head of Public Sector Employment

Schools will remain open for the second period of national lockdown. The Government has produced guidance on how the new restrictions impact schools. The main changes include rules on face coverings and clinically extremely vulnerable children and staff. The deadline for introducing the changes is Monday 9 November 2020.

Face coverings

  • Primary schools - where social distancing between adults is not possible, schools have the discretion to recommend the use of face coverings for all adults on site.
  • Secondary schools - face coverings should be worn by adults and pupils when moving around the premises and outside of classrooms.

Clinically extremely vulnerable children and staff

  • Children - where a doctor has confirmed they are still clinically extremely vulnerable, they should not attend school. Schools will need to make appropriate arrangements to enable them to continue their education from home.
  • Children who live with someone who is clinically extremely vulnerable - should still attend school.
  • Staff - should work from home and not go into work. There are two ways a member of staff may be identified as clinically extremely vulnerable:
  1. They have one of the conditions listed in the guidance on shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable from COVID-19; or
  2. Their hospital clinician or GP has added them to the shielded patients list.
  • Staff who live with someone who is clinically extremely vulnerable - should continue to attend work.

Clinically vulnerable staff and children

  • Staff and children who are clinically vulnerable or have underlying health conditions but are not clinically extremely vulnerable, may continue to attend school in line with current guidance.

Sport and physical education

  • Only team sports listed on the 'return to recreational team sport framework' are permitted.
  • Competitions between different schools should not take place.
  • Pupils should be kept in consistent groups and outdoor sports should be prioritised.
  • The use of external coaches and organisations for curricular activities is permitted where it is safe to do so.
  • Extra-curricular activities should only take place where is it reasonably necessary to support parents to work, search for work or undertake training and education, or where the provision is being used for respite care.

The full guidance can be read here.

For more information contact Ruth Rule-Mullen in our Education department via email or phone on 01772 220195. Alternatively send any question through to Forbes Solicitors via our online Contact Form.

Learn more about our Education department here

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