Kids should get 3 weeks in classrooms under 1m rule BEFORE summer, ex-education secretary demands


KIDS should get 3 weeks in class under 1 metre rule BEFORE summer, the ex-education secretary has demanded.

Lord Blunkett joined calls by MPs on the Government to cut the 2 metre rule in schools and bring back plans for all kids to spend time in the classroom before the break.

Boris Johnson visited a primary school last week suggesting the rule could be cut

Lord Bunkett told The Daily Telegraph it was “imperative that every effort was made” and demanded the PM stop treating kids’ schooling like a “secondary issue”.

He said: “If we could get three weeks of education before the break, that would be a major plus and it would restore confidence across the board that there is real intent to do this.”

He suggested “neighbouring premises” and additional buildings such as libraries and other council owned buildings and outdoor ares could be used to help schools get more children into class.

His calls echoed Chair of the Education Select Committee Robert Halfon who last week told HOAR the rule should be cut in schools, given the lower risk of children transmitting the disease.

He said: “I hope we do it soon (cut he 2 metre rule in schools).

“What they could do is possibly have different social distance rules for different organisations.

“(The 2m rule) might be able to be relaxed a bit in schools, because of the low risk of transmission and because of that low transmission you can have slightly different rules in a different place.

Mr Halfon stressed he Government needed to do whatever they could to get children back into schools, saying “it is going to make them feel better, they’ll be with their friends and socialising and learning, it’s incredibly important.”

“I would hope that schools would be first on the list (to have the 2 metre rule cut) because schools have to come back.”

Mr Halfon told the Daily Telegraph: “Potentially this could mean that schools go back earlier than September, and we could get more years back for a few weeks before the summer months.”

The Government had intended to bring back all primary school pupils before the summer holiday, but ditched plans to do so after teachers said there was not enough room if class sizes are limited to 15 students.

Children in reception, year one and year six are currently back to class in primary schools, with classes kept in “bubbles” where they don’t need to social distance, but must social distance from other students.

Schools have had to introduce one way systems in corridors and stagger break times to help keep children apart.

Older children in year 10 and year 12 are getting some face-to-face support from teachers before the summer break, and teachers have been told where possible this should be one-on-one or small grops

If teachers do resume formal lessons, older students should be kept 2 metres apart where possible, according to guidance from the Department for Education.

While visiting a school last week, Boris Johnson said that as coronavirus “diminishes among us” and the alert level came down England could make “progress on our plan and social distancing measures”.

He added: “Watch this space. We will be putting in further changes the science allows.”



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