UK Government helpline set up for schools to report rising Covid cases last minute news
MetiNews.Com - The move comes after reports that some schools have been waiting days for advice
Breaking News ! The government has set up a new helpline for schools to report Covid cases. Amid reports that some headteachers have been waiting days for advice from overwhelmed public health teams, the helpline aims to speed up the process and prevent schools being left in limbo. It comes as the number of confirmed cases at schools across Greater Manchester continues to rise. Yesterday we revealed that 133 schools across the region have now reported positive tests and the number is rising daily. The new 'dedicated' advice service has launched today, September 17, and means that instead of contacting local public health teams, schools, colleges and nurseries will call the helpline instead. Read More Related Articles How to sign up to our Manchester Family newsletter Read More Related Articles M.E.N Back to School Survey: Tell us what it's been like for you so far The government says this will free up the health protection teams to deal with more complex cases, such as special schools and boarding schools, or outbreaks where there is more than one confirmed case. Set up by Public Health England, the Department for Education and NHS Business Services Authority, a team of advisers will be on hand to help decide what action is needed in response to a positive case, based on the latest public health advice, and work through a risk assessment. (Image: Getty Images) The DfE says that usually, a full closure of a setting will not be necessary, but some individuals may need to self-isolate if they have had close contact with the confirmed case. Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “Schools, colleges and early years settings across the country have worked tremendously hard to put protective measures in place that are helping reduce the risk of the virus being transmitted.
.9 per cent of schools open for the autumn term. How has sending your child back to school been for you so far? Let us know in the survey below. If it fails to load click here.
“The number of confirmed cases in schools remains low but to protect schools it is important head teachers continue to have access to timely support and advice. This new dedicated advice line will help schools, colleges or early years settings to implement the most appropriate public health measures, once a case is confirmed.” While some schools have been sending home entire year groups, others have more recently been restricting the self-isolations to close contacts of the confirmed cases - using seating plans to help identify those individuals they feel are at risk.
And it's an issue that divides parents and teachers, with some feeling it's safer to send home bubbles of full year groups - and the only way to prevent transmission - but others saying it's unsustainable and fearing pupils will be spending more time out of school than in it. Has your school had to send children home to self-isolate? Let us know in the comments or email the details to email@example.com.