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The Government has announced new rules to prevent the spread of coronavirus this week – and a second lockdown has not been ruled out.

The guidance for schools remain unchanged but schools should have a contingency plan in place if remote learning needs to be introduced.

This blog post talks you through the rule changes, the latest guidance and how your school should prepare for a second lockdown.

What are the latest rule changes?

Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, announced on Tuesday new restriction to try and combat the rise in Covid-19 cases in England:

  • Office workers should work from home again if they can
  • From Thursday, all pubs, bars and restaurants must only offer table service, and close at 10pm
  • All retail staff, people using taxis and everyone using hospitality services must wear face coverings – with fines rising to at least £200 for non-compliance
  • Weddings may only include 15 people, while funerals can host up to 30
  • The “rule of six” has been extended to indoor sports teams

Will there be a second national lockdown?

Mr Johnson has called on Brits to “summon the discipline and the resolve” to avoid a second national lockdown.

He warned there had been “too many breaches” of coronavirus rules.

His stern words follow a Government caution that the country is in the “last chance saloon” and that it’s “getting close to being too late”.

The PM said that while the virus had been “driven into retreat”, the prospect of a second wave is “real, and I’m sorry to say that, as in Spain and France and many other countries, we’ve reached a perilous turning point.”  

Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab said on the prospect of another national shutdown:

We’ve always said we’ve got a sort of repository of measures in the arsenal to take.

I don’t think we would speculate about what further could be done.

But the reality is they will be more intrusive or we could end up in a national lockdown.

That is what we want to avoid.

If everyone plays by the rules, and we go into Christmas not needing to go into that national lockdown, it would avoid the impact on society and families, and the damage it would do to businesses.

Scientists warn of second lockdown

Some scientists have warned the new rules do not go far enough. Professor John Edmunds, a member of the Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), said the curfew on bars on restaurants is likely to have a “trivial” effect.

I suspect we will see very stringent measures coming in place throughout the UK at some point, but it will be too late again. 

What is the current guidance for schools?

The guidance for schools remains unchanged with Mr Johnson stating in the House of Commons on Tuesday:

The rates of transmission amongst school pupils are much lower than in the rest of the population.

Schools are operating a tiered system depending on the number of coronavirus cases in the local area:

Tier 1: Fully open to all pupils full-time, with face coverings required in corridors and communal areas for pupils in year 7 and above.

Tier 2: Secondary schools and colleges in a restricted area to use rotas to help break chains of transmission of coronavirus. Primary schools, alternative provision and special schools remain open to all pupils.

Tier 3: Secondary schools only allow full-time on-site provision to vulnerable children, the children of critical workers and selected year groups (to be identified by the Department for Education). Remote education provided to all other pupils. Primary schools, alternative provision and special schools remain open to all pupils.

Tier 4: All mainstream schools only allow full-time on-site provision to priority groups. Remote education provided to all other pupils. Alternative provision and special schools remain open to all pupils.

The guidance introduces four tiers of response to local outbreaks with local authorities, local directors of public health, and national Government being responsible for deciding when an area should change tiers.

How can you prepare your school for a second lockdown?

EDClass can help your school operate during a second lockdown.

Our online provision means school can continue to run even if the school building is closed.

Students have access to live and recorded lessons. 11,000+ lessons are provided in a wide range of subject – ideal for KS3 and KS4 students. A sophisticated tracking system means you can monitor student attendance and attainment.

Learning materials, assessments, tasks, quizzes and more are built into the system.

Safeguarding is also an essential of the system. Eyes-on learning means that with a webcam enabled, pupils can be monitored using the system and any issues identified on the webcam can be picked up by our highly trained staff and reported to the school. Students also have the ability to reach out to teachers, as well as raise alerts and fill out safety questionnaires throughout the system. As the platform was originally designed for the UK’s most vulnerable students it also features instant access to a number of safeguarding charities.

Click here for a demonstration of how we can help your school through the pandemic.

View testimonials here.

For more information call 01909 568 338 to get in touch with our team.