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Government set to end automatic isolation for pupils after hundreds sent home in Harlow

Covid-19 / Tue 29th Jun 2021 at 07:12am

HUNDREDS of thousands of pupils will no longer have to automatically isolate after contact with a positive Covid case when schools return in September in England, ministers are expected to announce.

A quarter of a million children missed school in a single week because of coronavirus infections, self-isolation or school closures this month – the most disrupted week since schools fully reopened across the country in March.

Monday saw hundreds of pupils in Harlow being sent home due to a small number testing positive.

Among the school year groups were: Year 6 at William Martin Primary; Year 7 at Passmores Academy and Year 9 at Stewards Academy to name just three.

The Guardian understands that ministers plan to overhaul the system for pupils, under which they are separated into bubbles – sometimes numbering more than 200 children – and forced to quarantine at home if anyone in their group tests positive for Covid.

An announcement is expected to be made in coming days to give schools time to prepare for the return in September, likely to be replaced with a testing regime.

A senior government source said: “We will have a different system when schools return in September which combines proportionate protections when someone tests positive with trying as much as possible to keep schools open.”

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