Schools reopening warning: Teachers fear social distancing rules won’t work with children

The Joint General-Secretary of The National Education Union told BBC News that the Government’s guidance regarding the number of pupils in a class is too high. The Government has advised class sizes of up to 15 pupils when schools reopen but Dr Bousted outlined 10 children per classroom should be the maximum. Dr Bousted also stated that young children will not recognise what social distancing is. 

She said: “We have two key issues with the guidance.

“The first is that you can have up to 15 pupils in a class.

“We don’t think it’s possible to practice social distancing with 15 pupils in a class.

“No other European country which has come back with much lower rates of infection in society, like Germany or Denmark has come back with these numbers of pupils.

“We think there should be a maximum of ten, so we are very concerned about that.”

Dr Bousted added: “We are also very concerned for infant schools.

“Because if you get reception and year one back that will be virtually the whole school back with children that simply won’t recognise what social distancing is.

“We don’t see how those schools can function in a safe way with reception children and year one children back at the same time.

“We think there is a lot to work through and we are very concerned about these issues.”

At the time of writing, Britain has the third-highest number of COVID-19 cases in the world.

The UK has more than 223,000 cases in total at the time of writing. 

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The death toll in Britain is currently higher than 32,000 people. 

Worldwide there have been more than 4,200,000 COVID-19 cases.

The death toll has reached more than 285,000.

More than 1,500,000 people have recovered from the coronavirus across the globe.

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