School ‘bubbles’ will be axed from July 19 just DAYS before the end of term with pupils told to take daily tests if a classmate is positive
- Gavin Williamson will set out his ‘freedom day’ plans for schools to MPs today
- Education Secretary expected to confirm ‘bubbles’ being scrapped from July 19
- Will come too late for many schools as they break up for the summer holiday
- But it means ‘bubbles’ policy will not apply to summer camps and catch-up
Gavin Williamson will today confirm that school ‘bubbles’ will be scrapped from ‘freedom day’ on July 19, it has been claimed.
The change will come too late for many schools as they break up for the summer holidays but some could face a scramble to adapt to new rules before the end of term.
The move will mean children attending summer camps and catch-up programmes will no longer have to self-isolate if someone in their ‘bubble’ tests positive for coronavirus, according to The Times.
The ‘bubbles’ policy is expected to be replaced by a daily testing regime in time for the start of the next academic year in September.
The new rules will mean that only children who test positive from a PCR test will be sent home.
Gavin Williamson will today confirm that school ‘bubbles’ will be scrapped from ‘freedom day’ on July 19
The ‘bubbles’ policy is expected to be replaced by a daily testing regime in time for the start of the next academic year in September
A number of ministers have committed in recent weeks to scrapping the current policy but the timeline for doing so has been mired in uncertainty.
Sajid Javid said yesterday that ‘bubbles’ will be axed from July 19 but Boris Johnson had suggested the change would not be made until September.
The Health Secretary told MPs ‘that on July 19 it is our plan to remove bubbles and to end the requirement for early years settings, schools and colleges to routinely carry out contact tracing’.
Mr Johnson had also yesterday confirmed that the policy will be ditched but he did not set a firm date for doing so.
The PM said the Government’s intention is to ‘remove bubbles and contact isolation for pupils’ amid mounting fears over the number of children being forced to stay at home.
Last week Mr Johnson suggested that the shift away from ‘bubbles’ would not be immediate as he said the summer holidays could act as a ‘natural firebreak’.
Tory MPs have demanded the Government ditch ‘bubbles’ as soon as possible even if that means it is ‘just for the last few days of term’.
The Times reported today that Mr Williamson will confirm that ‘bubbles’ will end from July 19.
Many schools are due to break for summer around the same time which means summer camps will be the first setting for many children where the policy will no longer apply.
Current rules state that children have to self-isolate for 10 days if another pupil in their ‘bubble’ tests positive for coronavirus.
This has caused entire year groups to be sent home following outbreaks at some schools.
Sajid Javid said yesterday that ‘bubbles’ will be axed from July 19 but Boris Johnson had suggested the change would not be made until September
Official statistics showed last week that the number of pupils self-isolating at home had quadrupled in two weeks to 375,000.
The Government is planning to replace the ‘bubble’ approach with daily testing to avoid pupils having to self-isolate if they are a contact of a positive case.
The Prime Minister said last week that he understood the frustrations of parents and teachers over the policy but urged them to be patient.
He said: ‘They haven’t concluded yet so what I want to do is just to be cautious as we go forward to that natural firebreak of the summer holidays when the risk in schools will greatly diminish and just ask people to be a little bit patient.’