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Schools to re-open to all students next week

Schools to re-open to all students next week

Monday 01 March 2021

Schools to re-open to all students next week

The majority of Guernsey students will be able to return to their classrooms on Monday 8 March, it has been announced.

Secondary school students will return over two days, with Years 7, 8 and 9 returning on Monday, while Year 10 and upwards will return on Tuesday 9 March.

All other Guernsey students can return to educational settings next Monday.

It is hoped the re-opening of schools may be able to align with the island moving to Stage 2 of the Exit from Lockdown Strategy. The CCA will meet tomorrow and a decision is expected on Wednesday. 

Specific measures have been drawn up to support the return of education, including:

  • Classroom bubbles for primary schools and Years 7-9 in Secondary, with year-group bubbles for older students;

  • The recommended use of face-coverings for older students and staff;

  • One-metre social distancing, wherever this is possible;

  • Staggered start and finish times;

  • Enhanced cleaning regime for education settings;

  • Limited school transport service to minimise contact between students;

  • A specific Public Health testing strategy for staff in education, as well as for some students.

Public Health Director Dr Nicola Brink said: "We have worked really closely with Education colleagues on this and, while nothing is ever entirely risk free, we believe that with the right mitigations in place we can safely re-open schools and other education providers to all students.

"The package of measures that we have developed with Education are really important to make this as safe as possible for staff and students, and also help us quickly contain the situation should any positive cases emerge once schools re-open."

CCA Chairman Peter Ferbrache described the move as a "very positive step".

"It is evidence of the huge strides we have made as a community since going into lockdown. The CCA is not yet in a position to confirm that the island as a whole will move into Stage 2 on Monday, as there are further discussions needed before we can make that decision."

Education, Sport & Culture President Andrea Dudley-Owen acknowledged that the news would come as a relief to parents who have had to juggle child supervision with their own remote working. 

"We have developed a detailed “enhanced measures” approach. The safety of children and staff remains paramount and we are confident that the suite of measures in place will enable sites to open to all students.

"As discussions with Public Health developed it became clear that phasing the return of students over a one week period, as had originally been planned, offered no advantage on safety grounds. This is why our students will be returning together on Monday and Tuesday next week."

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