Will schools open in January 2022? If schools in Leeds will close due to Omicron - and rule changes

Many students are worried that schools may return to online learning in January as Omicron cases soar.

By Abi Whistance
Monday, 27th December 2021, 10:26 am
Updated Monday, 27th December 2021, 10:28 am

Under current guidance, UK schools are expected to offer in-person teaching when they return in January 2022.

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However some schools have already moved online as a result of the rise in Covid cases.

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Students arriving at Outwood Academy in Woodlands, Doncaster in Yorkshire.

Here is what we know so far.

Will schools open in January?

Currently there are no restrictions in place that mean schools would need to shut, however some schools are independently making the decision to allow students to work from home due to the rise in Covid cases.

However, education minister Alex Burghart has said that measures would be put in place in England to ensure the safety of students and teachers.

These measures include:

testing on return to school

increased vaccination

improved classroom ventilation

enhanced hygiene

What are the current rules in schools in England?

Secondary school pupils are advised to wear face coverings in communal areas and on school transport, but not in class.

Staff in all educational settings should wear face coverings in shared spaces, including in primary schools and nurseries.

How often should students test for Covid?

All staff and secondary school students are asked to do regular lateral flow tests.

There is no set amount of testing required to attend schools, however some schools will set their own lateral flow requirements.

Will rules change before January?

The Prime Minister has pledged not to make any changes to the current rules before New Year, however no guarantee has been made for January.

Schools in Leeds are set to return on Tuesday 4 January, so Boris Johnson has four days to make an announcement in 2022 before schools return.

How do I find out if my school will open?

You can check whether your school is closed on your local government website.

Alternatively you can contact the school directly to find out exactly what measures are in place and if they will choose to conduct classes online from January.

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