THE Spanish Government has revealed new guidelines for schools when children go back to classes in September.

Education chiefs announced the reduction of safe social distance for pupils from two metres to 1.5 metres as one of several new measures in the Official State Gazette yesterday.

Children will go back to new-look classrooms in the ‘new normality’ after being out of formal classes since the coronavirus lockdown started in March.

Guidance on class sizes for youngsters aged three to five and for pupils in the first four years of primary school has also been amended.

The Ministry of Education said that class sizes could be as high as 20, rather than the originally advised 15.

But its did say that 15 was the desirable capacity.

Younger pupils aged up to 10 will not have to adhere to social distancing rules or wear masks when socialising.

Instead they will be in self-contained groups that will not mix with other groups, which will make tracking and tracing the spread of COVID-19 cases easier.

Class sizes for older children will be 15, or larger if schools have access to more space.

Teachers will have to use every available space – including sports halls, libraries and cafeterias to ensure the new measures are followed.

Education Minister Isabel Celaa told radio SER in Catalunya that headteachers would have to look to the local authorities if they needed help finding more space in the local community.

Older school children will be asked to wear masks where the 1.5 metre social distancing can’t be followed, but not when they are at their desks in class.

Other measures include:

  • Classroom windows must be open as long as possible throughout the day
  • Areas used for classes will be ventilated after each class
  • Schools should be cleaned and disinfected at least once a day
  • Bathrooms should be cleaned three times a day

These new guidelines will be presented to central and regional education chiefs at a meeting today.

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