CLASS sizes in York schools will be reduced to 15 pupils from next month but PPE equipment will ‘not be required for staff beyond what they would normally need’.

And the National Education Union said schools are still trying to figure out how they will be able to implement the new measures announced by the government - which includes minimising contact and staggered timetables.

The Department of Education announced fresh advice to schools on Monday, following confirmation that it expects pupils in year 1 and year 6 to return from June 1.

It said that wearing a face-covering or face mask in schools or other education settings is not recommended.

It added: “Schools and other education or childcare settings should not require staff, children and learners to wear face coverings.

“The majority of staff in education settings will not require PPE beyond what they would normally need for their work, even if they are not always able to maintain a distance of two metres from others. “PPE is only needed in a very small number of cases including if a child, young person or other learner becomes unwell with symptoms of coronavirus while in their setting and needs direct personal care until they can return home.”

Schools will also be required to make sure pupils are cleaning hands more often than usual - wash hands thoroughly for 20 seconds with running water and soap, while ensuring good respiratory hygiene such as promoting the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach.

The guidance further advises that schools should also clean frequently touched surfaces often using standard products, such as detergents and bleach minimising contact and mixing by altering, as much as possible, the environment - such as classroom layout - and timetables such as staggered break times.

Anne Swift, spokesman for the National Education Union said schools are now trying to work out how they can change the structure of school learning to accommodate the new guidance.

She added: “There are still a number of issues that have not been answered that schools will have to solve.”