Sweden’s education watchdog to inspect how well schools are following coronavirus guidelines

Sweden's education watchdog to inspect how well schools are following coronavirus guidelines
Schools are asked to ensure pupils keep distance as much as possible, especially at break and meal times. File photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT
Sweden's schools watchdog will look into how schools across the country are implementing infection prevention guidelines, after several reports of schools failing to follow the recommendations.

Around 100 randomly chosen schools for 6-18-year-olds will be inspected in an initial review by the Swedish Schools Inspectorate, according to Sveriges Radio. This is expected to be finished in October, and based on the results the watchdog will decide whether a more comprehensive review is needed.

Schools for under-16s have remained open throughout the pandemic, while upper secondary schools for 16-18-year-olds were given the green light to reopen their doors for the autumn term after switching to remote learning in March.

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All schools should however be following measures to reduce the possible spread of infection.

That includes ensuring children and staff don't attend school if showing symptoms, raising awareness of hand hygiene, and encouraging social distancing through for example rearranging classroom furniture and staggering times for lessons and breaks.

Educators have also been told that distance learning remains a “possibility” for individual schools, meaning that they could take the measure if needed due to a local outbreak.

But it's not always easy. At Nacka Gymnasium on the outskirts of Stockholm, teachers told Sveriges Radio it was hard to keep the recommended distance in a school environment.

“We have been asked to open the school, so we are first to go back to something resembling normality,” said vice principal Krister Bergström. “But at the same time we are trying to reduce the spread of infection as much as possible, and we are doing that by haing fewer children in the dining hall.”



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