What will be the rules in Spain for kids returning to school?

What will be the rules in Spain for kids returning to school?
Photos: AFP
Smaller class groups, lessons outdoors and coronavirus delegates are just some of the measures being discussed in Spain for children to be able to make a physical return to their classrooms next September.

Spanish Education Minister Isabel Celaá met recently with her regional counterparts to agree on the necessary safety measures for the next school year, which will spell the return of face-to-face classes across Spain.

Spain’s educational de-escalation, which starts once an autonomous community enters Phase 2, has allowed regional authorities to reopen their educational facilities for some children (mainly 0 to 6 year-olds), although in most cases classes have continued to be carried out online.

Here are the measures which will be required in each educational facility in Spain for students to be able to physically return to their classrooms in September:

Smaller groups

For children up to the age of 10 (from kindergarten through to fourth grade of Primary school included) Spain’s central educational body has proposed groups of 15 children up to a maximum of 20 pupils.

They won’t be expected to keep the safety distance of 1.5 metres or wear a face mask unless they leave their classrooms or school area.

A maximum capacity per classroom hasn't been confirmed yet for pupils 11 and older, although Celaá has been quoted as saying that if there is no vaccine by September, “schools will have half of the students in the classrooms”. 

“This will mean some students will be taught in person and others online.”

Face masks and social distancing

Pupils aged 11 to 18 (fifth and sixth grade of primary school, secondary school and 'bachillerato') will have to keep a safety distance of at least 1.5 metres between each other .

Face masks will be compulsory when they can’t maintain this distance, but not when they are sitting at their desks.

More outdoor learning

Schools will prioritise the use of outdoor spaces for educational and leisure activities, rather than enclosed spaces such as classrooms.

Stricter hygiene

Students will be expected to wash their hands frequently and meticulously, reminded to avoid touching their nose, eyes and mouth, as well as told to only use disposable tissues.

Covid delegate

Each school or educational facility will have to have a ‘schoolyear start plan’ and contingency plans in place before September, as well as a staff member who is responsible for everything relating to Covid-19 and the handling of any infections.

More disinfection

Educational facilities should be cleaned at least once a day and toilets at least three times daily.

The more fresh air the better

Staff will be expected to ensure frequent ventilation of the school premises and to keep windows open as long as possible when the weather allows for it .

Dealing with symptoms quickly

If a pupil starts to develop coronavirus symptoms, they will be taken to an isolated space for individual use, if they’re a pupil they will have a face mask put on them, as will anyone who remains in their care, and their family will be contacted.

Staff members will call the closest health centre and in case of serious symptoms dial Spain’s emergency phone number 112 or the regional emergency number. 


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