Sneezing and queuing: New rules for reopening schools

Behaviour policies will have to change when schools open to more pupils in June, says new DfE guidance

William Stewart

Coronavirus: Reopening schools will involve changing behaviour policies, says the Department for Education

More details on what reopening schools in the middle of a pandemic will involve emerged this evening in new official advice on behaviour policies.

Heads will need to consider everything from how to tell pupils who they can socialise with at school to drawing up "clear rules about coughing or spitting", according to the Department for Education document.    

"In light of the need for children to behave differently when they return to school, and any new systems you have put in place to support that, you’ll need to make changes to your behaviour policy," the guidance says.

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"Behaviour policy changes will also need to be communicated to pupils, parents and staff."

The document also provides details of the extra items schools will need to ensure they have ready for reopening.

Coronavirus: Changes to school behaviour policies

The areas where schools are being told they may wish to add to their behaviour policy are:

  • Following any altered routines for arrival or departure.
  • Following school instructions on hygiene, such as handwashing and sanitising.
  • Following instructions on who pupils can socialise with at school.
  • Moving around the school as per specific instructions (for example, one-way systems, out-of-bounds areas, queuing).
  • Expectations about sneezing, coughing, tissues and disposal (in line with the "catch it, bin it, kill it" message) and avoiding touching your mouth, nose and eyes.
  • Pupils telling an adult if they are experiencing symptoms of coronavirus.
  • Rules about sharing any equipment or other items including drinking bottles.
  • Amended expectations about breaks or play times, including where children may or may not play.
  • Use of toilets.
  • Clear rules about coughing or spitting at or towards any other person.
  • Clear rules for pupils at home about conduct in relation to remote education.
  • Rewards and sanction systems where appropriate.


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William Stewart

William Stewart

William Stewart is News editor at Tes

Find me on Twitter @wstewarttes

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