POLICE in Oldbury have been marking out social distancing rules on a playground at a local school.

Officers were at St Francis Xavier Catholic Primary School in McKean Rd this morning (Monday) helping the school prepare for the return of pupils tomorrow.

They tweeted: "We have spent the morning assisting st.francis school put social distancing measures in place, ready for the return of certain year groups @sandwellcouncil @SandwellPolice @SWPartnerships."

A note on the school's website notes that year six pupils at the school were set to return tomorrow and would be taught in bubbles of up to nine pupils with desks two metres apart, supervised by one adult.

The letter states it has prioritised year six pupils - who will be in school for a four-day week - as they can follow social distancing rules.

It states: "The phased return applies to Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 only.

"However, if all the children returned at once we would have well in excess of 110 children in school, supported by a large number of staff.

"The government has made it clear that it is up to schools to decide what is safe and manageable and we are concerned that if all Nursery, Reception, Year 1, Year 6, key worker children and vulnerable pupils return at the same time it will make it difficult to keep everyone safe when trying to adhere to the social distancing of 2m."

It goes on: "Children will be sorted into what the government is calling ‘bubbles’ – meaning they will be with up to 6/9 other children and an adult.

"As far as possible the class teacher or teaching assistant can only be in one ‘bubble’ and the ‘bubbles’ cannot mix at all.

"The school will decide on the ‘bubbles’. Not all children will be with their class teacher or their friends and they will have to try to remain at least 2 metres from others at all times.

"This is necessary so that any outbreak of the virus can be tracked and traced and those people who have been in the affected ‘bubble’ can isolate and be tested.

"The bubbles are small in order to achieve 2m social distancing.

"Some furniture will have to be removed from classes, movement systems around the classroom and school need to be set up and systems for use of toilets and cleaning all worked out."

Drop off times will also be staggered so that parents can also social distance.