When will schools reopen after coronavirus lockdown and will it be primary schools first?

4 May 2020, 16:15 | Updated: 4 May 2020, 16:16

When will schools reopen after lockdown?
When will schools reopen after lockdown? Picture: Getty/PA

The latest government and expert advice on schools reopening after coronavirus lockdown.

Schools across the UK are currently closed to help slow the spread of coronavirus, with most children (other than some kids of key workers) being home-schooled during this period.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is due to announce a 'roadmap' on getting kids back to school later this week, and it has been reported that some kids could be returning on June 1.

Read more: Workplaces could 'stagger start times and keep staff 2m apart' under possible post-lockdown guidelines

Gavin Williamson, the education secretary, said earlier on in the lockdown period that he doesn't want kids to return to school until it is 'safe'.

Here is what we know about a potential timeline of reopenings.

The government are planning how to get kids back to school
The government are planning how to get kids back to school. Picture: PA

When will primary schools open

It has not been confirmed when primary school children will return to school.

According to reports, however, Boris Johnson is expected to announce that primary schools will open for year six pupils on June 1, due to the fact it will be their final few weeks of school before moving up to secondary.

Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford said of that age group: "We know that’s a rite of passage, you do it with your classmates, and yet you won’t have seen those friends for some weeks now. So it could be bringing those children back to school earlier than others."

The Guardian reports that these pupils will be closely followed by other primary school years, and also years 10 and 12 at secondary school.

When will secondary schools reopen?

It has also not been confirmed when older pupils will return to school, but it has been claimed that years 10 and 12 will be first.

A source told the Guardian: "The focus is getting primary school pupils back first but only if the R [a measure of how the virus is spreading] is at a safe level. After primary schools have returned we will then look at years 10 and 12."

Many parents have been homeschooling their kids during the lockdown period
Many parents have been homeschooling their kids during the lockdown period. Picture: Getty

What has been said about schools reopening?

Amanda Spielman, the head of Ofsted, has backed schools reopening soon.

She told Sky News: "If you look at the interests of children, it’s very clear their interests are best served in the vast majority of cases by being back at school as soon as possible."

Kevin Courtney, the joint boss of the National Education Union, has warned that schools reopening is "really premature".

He added, according to The Sun: "Instead, the government should be providing evidence about how this can be safe, how many more fatalities would we expect to see amongst school staff and parents and how these can be prevented or minimised."

Paul Whiteman, the the general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, said, according to the Guardian: "There will be huge practical difficulties to solve, for example the much reduced workforce available due to illness and shielding, and the difficulty of achieving social distancing in schools, especially amongst the very young and on the school gate."


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