Pupils who refuse to follow social distancing could be excluded

Pupils who refuse to follow social distance and hygiene rules in schools in England could be excluded from September, according to reports.

Schools will have the power to get tough on children who refuse to comply with rules designed to keep everyone safe from Covid-19.

Those rules will include not mixing with children from other year groups, staying two metres away from teachers and washing hands frequently.

Guidance seen by The Telegraph says that assemblies will be banned under measures set to be announced by Education Secretary Gavin Williamson today.

Pupils will form “bubbles” – either classes or entire year groups – in which younger children will be allowed to mix without social distancing, it is believed.

Teachers will be given guidance on enforcing the measures, and will be allowed to expel unruly pupils as a “last resort”.

Members of each bubble will not be able to mingle closely with those outside their group, in order to prevent the virus passing between year groups.

Lunch breaks will be staggered to keep different bubbles apart, it is believed.

If a pupil tests positive, their classmates will have to self-isolate.

Teachers will be instructed to stay a metre or more away from those they are teaching, it is reported.

It is likely that the curriculum will be adjusted with “substantial modifications” to help children catch up after six months during the lockdown.

This could see entire subjects dropped, it is claimed.

Classrooms will be rearranged and schools have been instructed to keep windows open.

Children will be allowed to do sports within their “bubbles”, with equipment being cleaned between each lesson.

The government has insisted it is safe to allow children to return to school, despite admitting that a high infection rate has been found in youngsters in Leicester.

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