Parents told not to forget social distancing at school gates

  • Back to school report by Richard Lawrence

Parents are being reminded they still need to follow social distancing rules as their children return to school.

Leaders in Swindon say while many families will be glad to send their children back to the classroom, they must not forget there is still the risk of spreading the infection at the school gates.

Annette Perrington, Swindon Borough Council says "Many parents are going to be excited about seeing their friends at the school gate but again we just have to say I know you're really excited but when you're dropping off and picking up please maintain that social distancing."

She goes on to assure parents inside the school ground all precautions will be taken to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

"I'm confident that all the measures which are needed are taking place in school but at the school gates we still need to say to people please just be sensible."

Around thirty per cent of pupils in Swindon have still been in school during lockdown, but for most it will be their first day back in almost two months.

Boris Johnson said he hoped Monday's first steps to lessen restrictions marked a "big step" on his "road map to freedom".

On a visit to a vaccination centre in the capital, the Prime Minister was asked about the risks involved with reopening more than 20,000 schools.

"I think the risk is actually in not going back to school tomorrow given all the suffering, all the loss of learning we have seen."

It comes as longer school days, five-term years and shorter summer holidays are all being considered by the Government pupils return back to school.

Secondary school pupils, who are likely to have their return staggered over the week to allow for mass testing, are being asked to take three voluntary Covid-19 tests on site and one at home over the first fortnight. They will then be sent home-testing kits to do twice-weekly.

The Department for Education (DfE) is also advising secondary school students to wear face coverings wherever social distancing cannot be maintained, including in the classroom.

Primary school children are not being asked to carry out Covid-19 tests or wear face masks on their return.

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