By Owen Sheppard, Local Democracy Reporter
Children at schools in Kensington and Chelsea will be told to self-isolate if one pupil from their year group tests positive for Covid-19.
As schools in the west London borough reopen this week for all year groups, they will operate in “bubbles” in order to minimise contact between pupils.
The bubbles will ensure children from each year group and their teachers stick together and only use certain classrooms or hallways at specific times, in order to limit the chance of passing on the virus. Bubbles will also have separate lunch times, and times for arriving and leaving school.
Kensington and Chelsea council issued a statement saying: “If any adult or child within the bubble tests positive for coronavirus, the entire group will self-isolate at home to limit the spread to others.”
The rule will apply to “maintained schools”, which are non-academy state schools, including primaries and secondaries that are run by the local authority.
Other plans to stop the virus spreading include allowing children to have frequent hand-washing breaks, and installing hand-sanitising stations throughout schools.
Pupils could also be asked to wear masks in classrooms and throughout the school day if there is a local spike in cases.
To encourage walking and cycling, “School Streets” have also been set up at some schools in the borough. This is where motor vehicles are banned from roads outside of schools during arrival and leaving times.
Sarah Newman, the council’s head of children’s services, said: “There will be some parents who are worried about their child’s wellbeing, worried that their child will become infected and spread the virus through the family.
“We will keep talking about the safety measures in place – the staggered start times, the movement strategy around schools keeping classes and year groups separate, the lunchtime arrangements, the use of the playground, and regular hand washing.”
Pictured top: Volunteers helping out with a ‘School Streets’ project at Colville School in Notting Hill
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