The Covid control system in England’s schools, according to which groups of pupils have to self-isolate if one tests positive, could be brawled in the autumn.
As per the latest development, ministers are looking at asking schools to start daily testing instead.
Official figures indicated that in England alone this month, 172,000 children were self-isolating, possibly being in contact with a positive case in school.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid has vowed to address the issue.
Frustration among parents and teachers is rising over the disruption because a rising number of children and their households presently have to quarantine.
The Department for Education mentioned that to keep as many children in face-to-face classes as possible, it has written to secondary schools asking them temporarily to prepare for a change after the summer break.
England’s Children’s Commissioner Dame Rachel de Souza mentioned an urgent need for children to get back to normal as lockdown limitations had been a “real trauma” for many young people.
Grouping pupils into bubbles – often made up of their year group or form which has to quarantine when one child tests positive for Covid – should end at the earliest possible she told to Daily Telegraph.
Talked about the self-isolation policy in the Commons on Monday, Mr Javid mentioned it was “having a huge knock-on impact” on children’s education.
Steve Chalke, the founder of the academies group Oasis Schools, shared in BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that 10% of his pupils – about 3,000 children – were presently off due to Covid, further adding that it was a “pretty alarming situation and we would say that something needs to be done about this now”.
The previous week, official figures indicated that more than 250,000 children in the UK were absent from school because of Covid. The statistics being released later are expected to show a further increment.
The testing pilot will conclude on Wednesday.
Ministers are not likely to make a final decision on self-isolation until the results have been scrutinized. But it may be possible that any change would be announced before the end of the term to be implemented after the summer break.
It is not yet clear whether any future testing would comprise primary-age pupils, who so far have not been participating in the government’s Covid testing programmes at schools.