Already two days in a row, a record number of schools have been completely or partially closed. At the moment, an entire class has to go home when at least three students have tested positive for the coronavirus. According to schools, that is an unworkable situation.
The Foundation for Working Parents speaks of “a gap cheese” in education, which causes children to constantly miss lessons. The Outbreak Management Team will be taking a closer look at the current quarantine rules for schools this Friday.
How do they do in the countries surrounding us?
In Germany, children wear a face mask, both in the schoolyard, in the hallways, on their way to class and in the classroom. Schoolchildren are tested a few times a week and sometimes even every day. An infected child must be quarantined and can get out of there after seven days with a negative PCR test.
Children who have only been in contact with an infected classmate must stay at home for five days and can then go back to school with a simple quick test. Someone who has only been in contact but has been fully vaccinated does not need to be quarantined.
Hardly any rules still apply in England. Sick children should stay at home, but no classes go home when several children are sick. Testing is only necessary for symptoms. Face masks are no longer mandatory. It wasn‘t in primary schools, but not in secondary schools as of today. If the parents of children, or a classmate, or the teacher has a positive test, it is advised to test the environment but the class can continue as usual.
In secondary schools, we need to be tested twice a week. With a positive test, you have to quarantine for five days. Wales and Scotland have different rules. By the way, a large part of all corona measures in England have been lifted next Thursday next Thursday. From then on, it is no longer mandatory to wear face masks and work from home. The corona access certificate will also expire.
Sending entire classes home, they try to prevent them in Denmark by testing schoolchildren twice a week, at home or at school. Sending an entire class home is seen as a last resort, if it really can’t be any other way. Letting children go to school is the top priority. Face masks in schools no longer have to, parents must wear them.
Parents are relieved, because so far Denmark has been very careful. Children have been at home for months. In any case, the infection rates are doing well, which have since reached a plateau. The pressure on the ICs is also falling, in Denmark, the end is in sight. The challenge now is the teachers, because in some schools there is a shortage of staff due to infections.
After Christmas, it was agreed that schools in Spain would remain open anyway, even though it was clear that the infections by omikron would only increase. Classes are sent home if there are more than five infections among students, is the rule.
These are in addition to appointments that have been valid for almost two years now: such as face masks on during all classes. And measure temperature at entry. Spanish children know no other way by now. The fact that classes are sent home in Spain is not due to sick children, the infections mainly affect the masters and teachers.
Recently, there are no national rules in France, local authorities are allowed to decide themselves on the basis of their own estimates. More than 14,000 classes have now been sent home, which is three percent of the total. If a child is infected, all other children in the class must do three self-tests in five days. With each negative test, they are allowed to stay in the classroom. But the pharmacy must provide the self-tests. There are therefore long lines there and the tests are often over.
In the French education world, there is now great unrest over the government approach. Every so many days there were new rules and time to adapt was hardly there. Moreover, the rules were found to be unworkable. In addition, the French Minister of Education announced the latest plans one day in advance, in an interview with a newspaper. Teachers were completely robbed. Last week, discontent led to a mass strike by teachers. And a new day of action has also been announced tomorrow.