Schools could bring back Covid bubbles after just two positive cases, union warns

Schools may choose to put kids back into Covid bubbles with just a couple of cases “as they can very quickly become more” it has been warned by a union boss.

The bubble system was ditched on July 19 due to its lack of popularity and fears that large absences were badly affecting the education of kids.

More than a million children were prevented from going to school in July and isolate which caused a major headache for parents as they sought to arrange childcare for them.

It was also felt that many children, especially the disadvantaged, were suffering and not receiving the same level of education from home.

© Getty

But now Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union has said that schools may opt for the bubble system again to avoid the virus spread.

She said that after just two cases it could be sufficient to isolate.

Ms Bousted told the Daily Telegraph: “”Schools can be trusted to make their own decisions rather than be ruled from Westminster.

“Two cases can very quickly become many more than two cases, and we know that Covid spreads rapidly in schools.

© AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth

“We do expect bubbles to be reintroduced in those circumstances, and we would hope that parents are supportive of headteachers who make these difficult decisions.”

She has put the emphasis on schools to make the call and it comes with headteachers being advised not to look at self isolation options unless around 10% of pupils or teachers come down with Covid.

While the government is advising against bubbles. New guidelines have said that it was “no longer necessary to keep children in consistent groups (bubbles)”.

The Department for Education said: “Any decision to recommend the reintroduction of bubbles would not be taken lightly and would need to take account of the detrimental impact they can have on the delivery of education.”

a person sitting at a table with a laptop: The bubble system has been criticised as meant that many kids had to self-isolate and their education is claimed to have suffered© Getty Images The bubble system has been criticised as meant that many kids had to self-isolate and their education is claimed to have suffered

The school bubble system meant that children were only to mix with people from the same class or year group so as to contain the virus spread.

Now though when children go back to school in September any pupil who is named as a close contact of a positive test will not need to self isolate – but they will be encouraged to take a PCR test.

If that test is negative then they will be able to carry on at school as usual but if positive then they will need to self-isolate.

The government website said: “Testing for close contacts under 18 will be split into two categories. All primary, secondary and college age children should take a single PCR test. Early Years children should only take a PCR test if a member of their household tests positive.”


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