Government plans for new normal way of teaching revealed

Government plans for new normal way of teaching revealed

From autumn, it has been revealed that entire classes or year groups will be expected to remain in separate ‘bubbles’ as the Government unveils how it plans to have all pupils back in the classroom in September.

In secondary schools, this could result in up to 240 pupils per group, who would be expected to socially distance from other year groups, with separate, breaks, lunch and start and finish times in place.

In the event of two or more confirmed cases within 14 days, or an overall rise in suspected coronavirus sickness absence – schools will be expected to liaise with local health teams.

A mobile testing unit may also be deployed; focusing first on those in the affected child or teacher’s class, then their year group, followed by the whole school if necessary.

In primary schools bubble groups are expected to increase from the current maximum of 15 pupils, to a whole class of 30 pupils.

According to the Government’s proposals, if a pupil shows coronavirus symptoms, a parent or guardian will be expected to quickly collect their child.

According to the guidelines, “while waiting, the child should be kept 2 metres away from the supervising teacher and if that is not possible, in the case of a young child or one with complex needs, staff should wear full PPE – disposable gloves, a disposable apron, a fluid-resistant surgical face mask and in some cases eye goggles”.

According to the guidance, secondary school pupils will be expected to maintain 1 metre distancing but it has been acknowledged that primary school children will not be expected to do so.

Classroom layouts will change, with all pupils facing forward rather than sitting at circular tables and teachers will be encouraged to maintain social distancing at the front of the class.

Schools will be asked to put in place regular hand-washing routines although the guidance stops short of requiring either temperature checks or masks for staff and pupils.

Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson has stated that parents will no longer have the option to decide whether they wish their children to return to school, with compulsory attendance once again the norm, with fines for not compliance.

It has also been suggested that there could be fewer GCSE subjects offered, in a bid to focus on helping pupils to catch up with core subjects such as English and maths.

Whilst schools work to adapt to the ‘new normal’ in the classroom, it is understood that Ofsted is not planning to carry out routine inspections, for the autumn term at least.

A Department for Education spokesman said: “We’ve said we want to see all children back at school in September – returning to full primary and secondary class sizes in a safe way.”  Contact Haslers on

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Government plans for new normal way of teaching revealed