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Stephen Cottrell Archbishop of York PA Peter Byrne header2.jpg
Stephen Cottrell Archbishop of York PA Peter Byrne.jpg
UK News

Archbishop of York calls for an end to school bubbles

by Kelly Valencia

The Archbishop of York has called for school bubbles to be scrapped as the government prepares to unveil a new coronavirus plan for schools in England.

Most Rev Stephen Cottrell has told The Telegraph children have been “particularly traumatised” by the pandemic and said the government should make them a priority in the next phase of the pandemic.

"A better testing regime in schools would, I think, allow the current policy about bubbles to be modified and changed. It does seem to me there is probably a better way to do this than the current system," Stephen Cottrell said.

His remarks come as 48 Tory MPs wrote to the Prime Ministers last week, asking for the school bubble policy to be lifted when the final end to coronavirus restrictions comes on 19th July.

They said the measure was “disproportionate” and “unsustainable” after official data revealed 279,000 children are currently isolating because of possible contact with a covid positive.

The Prime Minister said he understands the “frustration” over entire bubbles being forced to isolate but said the Public Health England review into favouring testing over isolation is still under way. The Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has suggested that school bubbles will end when classes return after the summer holidays in September.

Archbishop Cottrell went on to reiterate that alternative solutions can be found and urged the government to find other ways because of the impact self-isolation is already having on children and young people.

 "We are seeing this happen successfully on our television screens with football each night. There are ways of managing these things," he said. "We would love to see that happen in our schools because losing months of education is a serious thing for a child and a young person."

An announcement on the topic is expected on 19th July.

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