Coronavirus: 'Some schools may reopen next month'

Reports say plans for a regionalised reopening of schools being considered by government

William Stewart

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Ministers are considering beginning a phased reopening of schools next month, it is being reported today.

The plans would start reopening primary schools and nurseries in a “regionalised approach”, starting with those in areas outside coronavirus hotspots such as London and Birmingham, according to The Times. 

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The newspaper says Gavin Williamson, the education secretary, wants schools to reopen “in tandem” with changes to government advice about people going back to work.

But it reports that “some ministers are pushing for pupils to return before half term next month”.

Denmark became the first European country to start reopening its schools yesterday.

The news comes with teachers voicing growing concerns about any possible reopenings.

This morning Katharine Birbalsingh, head of the Michaela free school in north-west London, said it was a "lie" to "pretend" that schools could socially distance pupils.

But yesterday, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said that school reopenings should be prioritised in any end to the lockdown.

Teaching unions are concerned about the safety of their members. The NEU teaching union has written to the prime minister calling for an end to speculation on school reopenings.

Meanwhile, The Daily Telegraph is reporting that Sir Iain Duncan Smith, the former Conservative Party leader, has said: "Schools are important because they enable parents to go back to work, particularly primary schools because those are the children who are too young to be left at home alone."

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William Stewart

William Stewart

William Stewart is News editor at Tes

Find me on Twitter @wstewarttes

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