Will schools reopen in September in the UK and what date do they go back?
10 August 2020, 15:37
When do schools go back in England, Wales and Scotland? Here's what you need to know...
Schools and nurseries across the country were forced to close back in March amid the coronavirus pandemic.
However, young children in reception, Years 1 and 6 and in nursery began returning to class in England on June 1 in a bid to get them learning again.
Secondary schools, sixth forms and colleges also opened their doors for face-to-face contact from June 15, which offered help over preparation for important exams in 2021.
But will all children be forced to go back to school in September? And what date will they have to return?
Will schools reopen in September in England?
Yes, all schools in England will reopen this September.
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson confirmed that all children and young people must return to the classroom after the summer holidays.
Parents who do not send their children to school could receive a fine.
Mr Williamson confirmed that the government is doing "everything we can to make sure schools, nurseries, colleges and other providers are as safe as possible for children and staff".
He said: “It is going to be compulsory for children to return back to school unless there is a very good reason or a local spike.
“We have to get back into compulsory education, and as part of that fines sit alongside that.
“Unless there was a good reason for the absence then we would be looking at the fact that we would be imposing fines on families if they were not sending children back.”
What dates will schools reopen in England?
The date children will be returning to class depends on the school they attend.
State schools will reopen in the first week of September, meaning many children will be starting on Tuesday 1st September or Wednesday 2 September 2020.
When will schools reopen in Scotland?
All 2,500 schools across Scotland will reopen full-time from Tuesday 11 August.
Some councils have been told they can used a 'phased return' system over the first few days, but First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she expects all pupils to be at school full time from 18 August at the latest.
Councils have also been told all children should 'return to school as quickly and as safely as possible.'
When will schools reopen in Wales?
State schools in Wales will reopen to all pupils in September.
Wales’ Education Minister, Kirsty Williams announced the news in July, saying there will be limited social distancing within contact groups.
These contact groups will consist of some 30 children.
When will schools reopen in Northern Ireland?
Education Minister Peter Weir announced all students will return on their normal school start dates around September.
Some schools will reopen from August 24 for key groups of students.
Mr Weir said: “My key objective is for all pupils to return full-time to school as soon as possible, when it is safe to do so.
“This is not only essential for our young people’s educational and personal development, but to enable the recovery of our economy and our society.
“If circumstances improve further I will be happy to see this happen without delay.
“Against that backdrop, and after careful consideration of issues raised by school leaders and teaching unions, I have decided that the start of term will now be August 24, 2020 for Primary 7, Year 12 and Year 14 pupils.”