The omicron variant will lead to “chaos” in schools, MPs have warned, with children set to be forced into self-isolation by the new rules. The Telegraph has more.
In an attempt to prevent the spread of the mutant strain of Covid, close contacts of those who test positive for omicron will have to self-isolate for 10 days, with the Government confirming that this applies to children.
On Sunday night, ministers were warned that the move risks a repeat of the situation during the summer term when thousands of healthy children were told to stay at home.
Steve Baker MP, deputy chairman of the Covid Recovery Group, said the measures “will cause chaos including collateral harms like damage to children’s education”, adding: “The Government needs to explain when all of this will be brought to an end.”
Parents have called for children to be exempt from the new self-isolation rules.
Molly Kingsley, co-founder of parent campaign group UsForThem, said: “We learnt from summer that forcing healthy children to isolate was an unmitigated disaster and it is unforgivable to do that again.
“If they don’t exempt children it will cause chaos in the classrooms. Asking healthy children to quarantine is not a harm-free measure, it is harmful to children who are not at serious risk from the illness. At this point in the pandemic it is shameful for the Government not to have an exemption for children.”
Earlier this year, the Telegraph launched a campaign calling for an end to disruption in schools and for children to be put at the heart of policy making.
In a further blow to the end of term, the UK’s biggest teaching union was arguing on Sunday night for a return of the ‘bubble’ system and for all in-person nativity plays and other Christmas activities to be axed, as the Government confirmed facemasks would have to be worn in secondary school corridors from Monday.
Worth reading in full.
Stop Press: Nadhim Zahawi joined hundreds of teachers last night at the Teaching Awards, an annual jamboree for the teaching profession in London. There wasn’t a face mask in sight.
Profanity and abuse will be removed and may lead to a permanent ban.