Following the UK Government statements on 22nd February, which laid out the plan for relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions and the return to school in England, further detail and clarifications are emerging.
Schools will be permitted to start lateral-flow Covid testing of students next week. This will allow all children to return to school for face-to-face teaching on Monday 8th March, avoiding the disruption of a phased return through the week.
Pupils returning to secondary schools will be tested three times on site and then once at home in the first two weeks back – 3-5 days apart. After that, they will be expected to be tested twice weekly at home (although schools will be expected to continue testing for those unable to test at home). All test kits will be delivered to the school to be distributed as needed.
The Secretary of State for Education made a statement today confirming that, with the cancellation of public examinations, schools will determine the qualification grades awarded in GCSE and A-levels. Students will be assessed by their teachers, based on coursework, class tests and mock examinations. Schools may also choose to use optional mini-exams developed by the examination boards.
Schools will communicate their approaches in due course, but we believe it will be important for international students to return to school for the Spring term (at the latest), to be in the classroom, interacting with their teachers, and participating in class tests and mini-exams leading up to the teacher/school assessments and qualification grading.