THE Government has scrapped plans to reintroduce all primary school children back to school before the end of term.
There were hopes that all primary school children would spend four weeks in school before the summer break. However, the Government no longer considers this idea viable and instead they have left the decision with the individuals’ schools. The initial idea has come under criticism from headteachers leaders who believe initial plans have never been a practical possibility.
Following Mondays Downing Street briefing, Health Secretary Matt Hancock revealed that secondary schools in England may not fully reopen until as early as September, as he said that the Government still needed to “work out” how this was going to be achieved as it was “going to require ingenuity”.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to hold a cabinet meeting later this evening to finalise the next steps of the lockdown phase.
The Education Secretary Gavin Williamson is then expected to deliver a statement to the house of commons about the prospect of schools reopening.
England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have separate coronavirus stipulations.
The scrapping of these plans comes after Children in England began attending schools again last week.
In a phased process, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 were the first-year groups to return to school.
Mr Williamson is also expected to reveal later that primary schools will not have to prepare for all children entering through their doors as was first proposed.
The decision will mean that many children in other year groups will be off school until September.
He also plans to shed some light of the latest figures of pupils in England who have returned.
Social distancing measures enforced by the Government have limited the capacity of primary and secondary schools.
Headteachers across the country have been concerned throughout lockdown that the initial plans to send children back to school were not a realistic possibility.
Class sizes have reduced significantly to 15 pupils or less, and headteachers argued due to social distancing measures they would not have the space to accommodate all pupils.
Whilst safety is at the paramount importance for the Government, the Department of Education is eager to get children back to lessons.
From June 29th, all age groups will be able to return to schools in Wales, who plan to reopen for limited periods at the end of this month.
However Scottish schools have earmarked 11 August, the start of the autumn term as the date to reopen for their pupils.
According to the latest Government statistics, coronavirus deaths have dropped again in the last 24 hours recording the lowest daily total since before lockdown on March 23rd.
55 people have died after testing positive with the virus, the latest number of deaths increases the overall total to 40, 597.