DfE cuts 'schools aren't high risk' line from guidance

Detail on 'high-risk settings' removed from document following DfE update

Amy Gibbons

Covid school supplies

The government has removed a paragraph from its Covid guidance stating that schools are not considered "high-risk settings".

The Department for Education (DfE) previously stated in its guidance for schools that Public Health England (PHE) and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) advise that schools are not considered high-risk work environments, and it is "therefore appropriate for teachers and other school staff to return to their workplace setting".

But following an update to the guidance today, this detail has vanished.

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Under the heading "school workforce", the guidance states: "We have worked closely with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and PHE to develop this specific guidance for school settings. The PHE and DHSC endorsed system of controls outlined in this document sets out the measures that school leaders and all school staff should follow.

"Where schools implement the system of controls outlined in this document, in line with their own workplace risk assessment, PHE and DHSC confirm that these measures create an inherently safer environment for children and staff where the risk of transmission of infection is substantially reduced."

Prior to today's update, it went on to say: "As a result, on current evidence, PHE and DHSC advise that schools are not currently considered high-risk settings when compared to other workplace environments.

"Rates of community transmission of coronavirus (Covid-19) are now reduced to levels below those seen when shielding was introduced, and shielding measures will be paused from 1 August 2020, with the exception of areas where local lockdown means that shielding will continue. It is therefore appropriate for teachers and other school staff to return to their workplace setting."

DfE guidance showing detail on high risk settings

But this detail has since been removed. The document now contains no mention of "high-risk settings" whatsoever.

DfE guidance with detail on high risk settings removed

The DfE has been approached for comment.

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Amy Gibbons

Amy Gibbons

Amy Gibbons is a reporter at Tes

Find me on Twitter @tweetsbyames

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