Written Question on Pupils: Social Distancing

Written Questions are submitted by MPs or Lords to receive information from a Department.

See more on: "Pupils: Social Distancing"
Date Title Questioner
15 Sep 2020, 5:48 p.m. Pupils: Social Distancing Ian Lavery


To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that school children adhere to social distancing guidance.

Answer (Nick Gibb)

Returning to school is vital for children’s education and for their wellbeing. Time out of school is detrimental for children’s cognitive and academic development, particularly for disadvantaged children. This impact can affect both current levels of education and children’s future ability to learn, which is why we need to ensure all pupils can return to school sooner rather than later.

On 2 July, the Department published guidance for schools to help them prepare for the autumn term. The guidance can be found here:


The guidance sets out the Public Health England-endorsed system of controls which schools should implement to reduce risks. This includes advice on minimising contacts and mixing between people, which can be achieved through keeping groups separate and through maintaining distance between individuals. Schools must do everything possible to minimise contacts and mixing while delivering a broad and balanced curriculum.

Schools should consider updating their behaviour policies with any new rules or policies, and consider how to communicate rules and policies clearly and consistently to staff, pupils and parents. Schools should set out the consequences for poor behaviour and deliberately breaking the rules and how they will enforce those rules, including any sanctions. This is particularly the case when considering restrictions on movement within school and new hygiene rules. Further guidance about behaviour and discipline in schools is available here:


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