SCHOOLS and colleges are set to reopen in full in September after detailed plans have been unveiled.

Education settings will be permitted to deliver their full curriculum ahead of exams next summer, with limits on attendance to be lifted.

The guidance, developed by the education sector and Public Health England (PHE) medical experts, also states limits on nursery group sizes will be lifted from July 20.

Covid-19 secure measures are set to remain in place to ensure safety, with children self-isolating at home when required.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has praised schools for their efforts so far.

He said: “I know these past three months have been some of the most challenging that schools have faced.

“What they have achieved to make sure that young people are kept safe and can continue to learn during this period is remarkable, and I am incredibly grateful for that.

“Nothing can replace being in the classroom, so ever since schools, colleges and nurseries closed to most children, we have been working hard to ensure they can reopen as soon as possible.

“We have already seen more than 1.5 million children and young people return, but we must make sure all pupils can go back to school in September, giving them the opportunity to thrive and fulfil their potential.

“I want to reassure parents and families that we are doing everything we can to make sure schools, nurseries, colleges and other providers are as safe as possible for children and staff, and will continue to work closely with the country’s best scientific and medical experts to ensure that is the case.”

Measures will remain in place to reduce the risk of transmission, with schools being asked to keep children in class or year group-sized ‘bubbles’ and encourage older children to keep their distance from each other and staff where possible.

This is alongside protective measures such as regular cleaning and handwashing, as well as teachers being asked to distance from each other and older students where possible, reducing the use of frequently shared items and minimising contact in corridors.

Where there is a positive case in a school or college, the PHE local health protection team will advise on the appropriate action, which could include small groups of young people and staff being asked to self-isolate for up to 14 days.

Where there are two or more confirmed cases in a two-week period, health protection teams may ask a larger number of other children or young people to self-isolate at home as a precautionary measure.

Where an outbreak in a school is confirmed, for specific detailed investigations a mobile testing unit may be dispatched to test others who may have been in contact with the person who has tested positive.

Testing will first focus on the person’s class, followed by their year group, then the whole school if necessary.

All staff, pupils and their families will continue to have access to testing if they develop Covid-19 symptoms and schools will be provided with easy to use home testing kits for children and staff who would otherwise be unable to get a test.

Schools will be expected to have plans in place to offer remote education to pupils who are self-isolating.

Exams will take place in 2021 and Ofqual is consulting on arrangements for those exams, including measures to mitigate any impact on pupils from time out of school.

Alongside this, Ofsted will carry out visits to schools in the autumn term to discuss how they are supporting the return to education for their pupils, with routine inspections planned to restart in January 2021.