Posted: Tue 6th Jul 2021

Over 3,000 school children currently self isolating in Flintshire

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Jul 6th, 2021

Over 3,000 school children are currently self-isolating in Flintshire following positive coronavirus cases identified amongst pupils.

Entire year groups in schools across the county are having to self-isolate which is causing further disruption to pupils’ education.

“The latest figures for school children self-isolating in Flintshire are 2342 high school learners and 690 primary school learners.” Flintshire’s Chief Officer for Education and Youth, Claire Homard, confirmed to Deeside.com.

Last week the Children’s Commissioner for Wales, Professor Sally Holland called for an end to mass isolation of pupils when suspected Covid cases are identified and replaced with a more targeted approach.

In England, school bubbles, or contact groups as they are also known, are set to be scrapped at the end of term, it was confirmed today.

Earlier today England’s education secretary Gavin Williamson outlined plans that will soon see key restrictions in education and childcare settings scrapped.

Speaking in the House of Commons this afternoon, Williamson said the system of sending whole bubbles home after a positive case would cease at the end term.

In a statement to MP’s, he said: “Keeping children in consistent groups was essential to control the spread of a virus when our population was less vaccinated.”

“We recognise that the system of bubbles and isolation is causing disruption to many children’s education.”

“We are also setting out new rules that mean that from the 16th of August, children will only need to isolate if they have tested positive for COVID 19.”

“I’m also pleased to be able to say, there’ll be no restrictions on in-person teaching and learning in universities unless students are advised to isolate or impacted by local outbreaks.”

“From Step four, a more proportionate set of controls will apply in early years, schools, colleges, and higher education institutions.”

“These will maintain a baseline of protective measures in education settings.”

“While maximising attendance and minimising disruption to children and young people’s education.”

“In addition to ending bubbles, it will not be necessary to stagger start and finish times, schools and colleges may of course continue with these measures until the end of the summer term, if they so wish.”

Gavin Williamson MP and Eluned Morgan MS

Wales’ health minister Eluned Morgan was asked during a press briefing on Monday’s if the Welsh government will be following the same timeline as England in terms of easing restrictions in schools.

She said: “What we’ll do in Wales will be appropriate for Wales and we won’t be following necessarily what they do in England.”

“If they have a good idea, then we’ll be more than happy to follow it, but it will be up to the Welsh education minister to determine how that works out.”

“I know he’s working incredibly hard at the moment to try and get some thoughts in place around these issues, ideally before the end of term so that people will know what they’re coming back to in September.”

In respect of contact bubbles, “I know there’s a huge amount of work being done around that at the moment, to what extent we use test trace and protect and in terms of face masks, so those will be decisions that will be made in the forthcoming weeks.” Baroness Morgan said.

UK government guidance published today for schools in England states: “From 16 August 2021, children under the age of 18 years old will no longer be required to self-isolate if they are contacted by NHS Test and Trace as a close contact of a positive COVID-19 case.”

“Instead, children will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace, informed they have been in close contact with a positive case and advised to take a PCR test. We would encourage all individuals to take a PCR test if advised to do so.”

It also says: “From Step 4, face coverings will no longer be advised for pupils, staff and visitors either in classrooms or in communal areas.”

Wales’ education minister Jeremy Miles has outlined plans bring coronavirus safety measures in schools under local control next term.

The plans would aim to reduce the ‘disproportionate’ number of learners having to self-isolate but unions say the proposals are impractical.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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