PRIMARY school children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 return to class as the Government and education unions continue to fight over whether it is safe to do so.
Here’s how to find out if your child’s school will be open.
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How can I find out if my kid’s school is reopening?
The best way to find out if your child’s school is reopening is by direct contact with the school and regular checks on the school’s website.
Your local council can also be a good source of information as it will likely know whether a school in its jurisdiction is set to reopen.
Local media such as newspapers and notices can also be of use.
The Government’s website outlines a detailed guidance on the reopening of schools in England.
According to the Government’s website: “From the week commencing 1 June at the earliest, we will be asking primary schools to welcome back children in nursery, Reception, year 1 and year 6, alongside priority groups.
“We will ask secondary schools, sixth form and further education colleges to offer some face-to-face support for year 10 and year 12 students (and equivalents) who are due to take key exams next year, alongside the full time provision they are offering to priority groups.”
The Prime Minister reiterated the government’s ambitions to reopen schools at Downing Street’s press briefing on May 28.
He said: “Firstly, as I set out on Sunday, we will now reopen schools to more children.
“Closing schools has deprived children of their education, and as so often it is the most disadvantaged pupils who risk being hardest hit.
“On Monday [June 1] we will start to put this right – in a safe way – by reopening nurseries and other early years settings and reception, year one and year six in primary schools.
“A fortnight later on 15 June, secondary schools will begin to provide some face-to-face contact time for years 10 and 12.”
The councils which have cast doubt on the Government plans
Barking and Dagenham
Brighton and Hove
Will all areas of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland return on the same date?
More than 20 councils across England – predominantly in the north – are advising schools not to open to more pupils this week.
Parents are also reluctant to send their kids back, according to the National Foundation for Educational Research.
Its survey of more than 1,200 school leaders found headteachers were expecting 46 per cent of families to keep pupils at home.
More than a quarter (29 per cent) of available teachers will only be able to work from home, according to the study.
Unions have warned that reopening schools puts teachers at a risk of contracting the disease.
Officials have produced at least 169 questions for the Department for Education to ensure a safe return.
Welsh Education Minister Kirsty Williams said schools will not be returning on June 1 in Wales, but no dates have been confirmed.
Schools in Scotland are looking to return on August 11 and Northern Ireland is looking for a date in September.
Schools normally break up in Scotland and NI at the end of June.
Why are all year groups not going back at the same time?
The Government has chosen to send pupils back to school in a phased manner in order to limit the spread of coronavirus.
According to the Government, having small groups in class is one of the main “protective measures” in the reopening of schools.
Official guidance states: “By returning pupils gradually settings can initially reduce the number of children and young people in classrooms compared to usual and put protective measures in place to reduce risks.”
Although returning will be phased, schools have been advised to operate on a full time basis for those who return.
The statement says: “Schools should not plan on the basis of a rota system for pupils returning from 1 June, either daily or weekly.
“We are asking schools to welcome back eligible pupils full-time, and do not expect schools to implement flexible approaches, such as rota systems.”
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Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said a “large number” of schools are planning “protective bubbles” in the classroom.
He said: “There will be a maximum of 15 children per class, making sure there’s a protective bubble around them, teachers and all those who work in schools.”
Mr Johnson added that returning kids to their classrooms is crucial for their “health, welfare and long term future”.