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Pupils all over the country are beginning to return to schools and colleges after their summer breaks. For many pupils they will be returning with far fewer restrictions than when they left for the summer holidays.

Now that there are fewer restrictions, pupils will be able to experience a fuller education experience, including, access to more group activities, team sports, playing with friends, plays, and taking part in musical groups.

Before returning to school

There are three key changes:

  1. Mixing and bubbles: Keeping pupils or students in year group or classroom bubbles to reduce mixing is no longer a requirement.
  2. Tracing close contacts: Close contacts will now be identified via NHS Test and Trace. Education settings are no longer expected to undertake contact tracing
  3. Face coverings: Face coverings are no longer advised for pupils, staff and visitors either in classrooms or in communal areas.

What will stay the same?

Coronavirus hasn't gone away so there will still be a need for schools, pupils and students to follow basic measures to avoid the spread of the virus:

  1. Testing remains important in reducing the risk of transmission of infection within schools
  2. Ensuring good hygiene including frequent and thorough hand cleaning and the 'catch it, bin it, kill it' approach
  3. Maintaining appropriate cleaning regimes
  4. Keeping occupied spaces well ventilated
  5. Following public health advice on testing, self-isolation and managing confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Further information

Updated: 27 August 2021