What new schools reopening plans mean for parents

MINISTERS have confirmed today that they won't be expecting all school kids in England to be back before the summer.

They are still hoping to get everyone in the classrooms once again by September, but until then, the nation's education is still up in the air.

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Gavin Williamson said today:

  • The Government will be working to bring all children back to school in September" as planned.
  • Exams will take place next year as planned for A Level and GCSE kids
  • Years 10 and 12 to get some teacher time from next week
  • The Children’s Commissioner accused the Government of prioritising reopening pubs over kids’
  • Schools could have to shut if the local R level of transmission goes up again

Here's what it all means for your family.

My kids are in reception, year one or six – should they still go to school?

Yes. The Government last week said schools should start opening up to more pupils from these three year groups.

Not all schools are yet open – some said they may take more time to do so – but many are starting to do so.

Kids in reception, year one or six will be in classes of no more than 15.

And they won't be allowed to mix with other kids to stop the spread of the virus.

This is because kids at this age lose out most if they are not in school, and the Government wants older kids to have a smooth transition to secondary school

What about my primary school children who are not in those years?

At the moment, they are not being asked to return to school. The Government had intended to get all primary school children back in for a month before the summer.

But today they announced it was unlikely this will happen.

Heads and teachers will be able to say whether they can open their doors to more years.

But it's not guaranteed they will all go back before the holidays.

What about secondary school pupils?

From June 15, kids in years ten and 12 – or those in college with exams next year – will be able to have some contact time with their teachers.

This will be to discuss their learning at home and talk about how to improve and get ready for next year's exams.

Gavin Williamson confirmed today the Government does plan on having exams next year – including A Levels, GCSEs, BTECs and others.

But the remainder of secondary school pupils will be expected to carry on learning at home until September.

How about if I need to go back to work urgently, and can't arrange childcare?

The Government is looking into this at the moment.

While schools won't be able to open their doors to everyone, ministers are looking at drawing up a "priority list" for people who need to get back to work.

Parents who can't stay at home with their little one or where there is one child in school but the other is not, may be offered a school slot.

More details are expected on this in the coming weeks, but it will be up to your school if they will be able to provide the space for your child.

I'm worried my child is seriously falling behind – will there be catch up classes?

At the moment the Government are making plans for summer camps for kids who really need the extra help to catch up.

It's likely that they will fund classes over the summer, where kids can attend.

But it won't be for all pupils, and it's not yet known who will run them.

The Department for Education are also dishing out laptops to needy kids to make sure they can still learn while they're at home.


What about in Wales and Scotland?

In Wales, the Government plans to reopen all schools on June 29, with a third of children at most in school at any time.

And in Scotland kids will return to classrooms from August, but with only half their time at school and the rest at home.


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