Secondary school return dates will be delayed by at least an extra week under plans agreed by ministers yesterday, Tes can reveal.
Under a revised re-opening scheme, Year 11 and Year 13 exam students will not return to school from Monday 4 January as had been intended but instead will receive remote education.
Next week would see secondaries open only to vulnerable students or children of key workers, giving schools more room to set up mass testing.
Exclusive: Schools decision expected after Christmas
The following week beginning 11 January would see testing start. Year 11 and 13 students would be given priority for the tests that would then allow them to start returning to school that week.
All secondary students would be due back in schools for lessons from the week of 18 January, and primary schools would open from 4 January as normal.
Tes understands the plan has yet to have final Downing Street approval but may be unveiled tomorrow.
It was worked out at a meeting involving the Department for Education, Department of Health, Cabinet Office and Downing Street yesterday.
But thus far teaching unions have yet to be consulted and were not made aware of the meeting.
Many secondary heads who will have to carry the plans out are reported to be “furious” about their representatives being “left out in the cold”.