Government Drops Plans For All Primary Schools To Return Before Summer
The government's plan to ease all primary school children back into education before the summer holidays has reportedly been dropped.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson had aimed to use a staged approach, following the return of reception, year one and year six pupils on 1st June.
However, schools will now be given "flexibility" over this decision, after headteachers voiced their concerns that the plans were not practical just six weeks before the end of term.
The PM is set to chair a cabinet meeting later today to discuss the next steps of easing lockdown restrictions, with Education Secretary Gavin Williamson expected to deliver a statement to the House of Commons on the reopening of schools.
He is expected to announce that a number of primary pupils will not return to the classroom until the start of the autumn term, in September.
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This comes after Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced in the Downing Street press briefing on Monday that secondary schools in England may not fully reopen until September "at the earliest".
Across the UK, there are separate rules and guidance for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Instead of all primary pupils returning in stages before summer - as previously announced - schools are expected to be given the option, meaning it will be up to them if they feel they can safely return more students to the classroom.
While schools throughout the coronavirus lockdown have remained open for vulnerable children and those of key workers, headteachers and staff across the country have voiced their unease and concern over returning their students to school safely.
With class sizes now 15 or less, many have said there simply isn't the space for full capacity while maintaining social distancing.
Last month, one headteacher warned he would rather the children repeat a year than risk their safety.
Howard Fisher, who is headteacher of St George's Church of England Primary School in Kent, voiced his worries in a letter to parents following Boris' announcement that some students would return to study on 1st June.
"I can be truthful here and categorically tell you there is no such thing as social distancing in a school; it does not exist and would never exist," he said.
Featured Image Credit: PA
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