ASCL comment on relaxation of social distancing rule

23/06/2020
Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, comments on the relaxation of the 2m distancing rule.
 
Commenting on the relaxation of the 2m distancing rule, Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said:

There has been a lot of conjecture that relaxing the 2m social distancing rule to 1m will allow all children to return to school in September.

This is pure fantasy. It may be possible to accommodate more pupils in classrooms with a 1m separation, but not all pupils. There just isn’t enough space in many classrooms to do this.

It isn’t a magic bullet, and nor is the Education Secretary’s suggestion on Friday of doubling the size of social bubbles to 30, in order to facilitate a full return to schools.

The idea of a social bubble is to have a consistent group which doesn’t mix with other pupils, whether it is 15 or 30.

It is difficult to see how this could be achieved with pupils moving between different subject groups, and in playgrounds, corridors, sports fields, and transport to and from school.

We need a proper strategy to bring children back into schools and colleges based in reality and on public health guidance.”