Schools have been instructed by councils to bring in a suite of stricter Covid curbs in response to rising infections among pupils.
Hundreds of primaries and secondaries in Staffordshire were urged to be ‘proactive’ and not wait on official guidance from the Government.
The county’s council has encouraged bringing back face masks and year group bubbles and scrapping assemblies and staff meetings. It also recommended schools stagger starting and break times to limit mixing in corridors and the playground.
Staffordshire County Council, which covers more than 400 schools, is believed to be the first to promote reintroducing such a comprehensive set of measures.
Other local authorities have brought back light measures like mask-wearing, including Cumbria and parts of Northamptonshire.
Pupils whose family member tests positive are advised to ‘stay at home pending PCR test result’, despite the fact schools can’t legally make them isolate.
Ministers scrapped the requirement for all contacts of Covid cases to self-isolate in August.