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Schools to fully reopen in September

Schools to fully reopen in September

Thursday 16 July 2020

Schools to fully reopen in September


All schools will be opening full-time from September - with no physical distancing between students.

However, measures will be put in place to keep year groups as separate, including 'bubble' systems and staggered break times.

The announcement from the Education Minister this morning comes following advice from Jersey's scientific advisory panel on covid, STAC (Scientific and Technical Advisory Cell).

Following evidence that children are not 'super-spreaders' of the virus as originally thought, the group agreed that schools could return provided that levels remain low in the island.

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Pictured: There will still be staggered break times when schools return.

All primary school students were allowed to return in June, with a 'bubble' system in place to ensure distancing.

But this was more challenging for secondary school students due to the need for one-metre physical distancing.

However, from September, distancing will be scrapped among students, though staff will still be encouraged to do so.

Primary and secondary schools are expected to update parents and guardians on their opening arrangements before the start of the new term.

Acknowledging "how difficult this term has been for everyone", Education Minister Senator Tracey Vallois said she was "pleased that the physical distancing guidelines will be removed for children in schools and our secondary school students will be able to return full-time, like our primary schools, to as close to normal as possible."

Explaining the rationale for the decision to reopen, she said: “New research strongly indicates that children are unlikely to be a significant source of the spread of covid-19. However, the impact of children being away from school both in terms of their education and the wider impacts on their physical and mental health is high.

"So, it is imperative that we do all we can to return all children back to school full-time while continuing to monitor the situation and prevalence of covid-19 in the island.” 

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Pictured: Education Minister Senator Tracey Vallois.

When children return to school, it's likely they'll be encouraged to be vaccinated against flu in anticipation of a resurgence of covid in the community in autumn.

The co-existence of both illnesses would also put the elderly and vulnerable at even greater risk.

Dr Muscat told Express last week that the Health Department is therefore looking to get as many islanders immunised against flu as possible - particularly children, who are super-spreaders of flu, but not covid.

“The danger is that people have both the usual respiratory viruses coming through, which is influenza and RSV, on top of covid,” he explained.

“We can’t do anything about RSV apart from respiratory hygiene and hand hygiene, but we can certainly do something about flu and that is to encourage flu vaccination as much as we possibly can."

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Pictured: Flu vaccines come in the form of a nasal spray for children.

In another move to protect Jersey against a resurgence, families are being encouraged to follow the government's 'Safer Travel' guidance regarding returning their children to holiday clubs, nursery and school settings when they return from their holidays.

The Education Ministers added: “On the last day of the school summer term today, I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of our school staff, children, young people and their families a well-deserved summer holiday break.”

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Posted by Keith Marsh on
Such a stupid idea, its along time until September ..... anything can happen.
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