The Sun : When will secondary schools reopen in the UK?

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SOME secondary school students could return on Monday (June 15) as part of education returning to normalcy in the UK.

Reception, Years 1 and 6 pupils started returning on June 1, while Years 10 and 12 could get back next week – but it could be some time before a full reopening for seniors.


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There will be plenty of new rules to follow upon the eventual reopening of schools in the UK

When will secondary schools reopen?

Secondary school pupils, Years 10 and 12, will be allowed to go back to the classroom from June 15.

It will be two weeks after primary counterparts are due to return to school on June 1, the government said – despite a fiery row between ministers and unions.

Secondaries will start reopening so Year 10 and Year 12 can have "some contact" to help prepare for GCSEs and A-levels, Boris Johnson said at the Downing Street daily update on May 31.

Pupils transitioning to secondary school, and those approaching GCSEs and A levels are taking priority in the gradual return to normality.

A Downing Street spokesperson said: "Special schools, special post-16 institutions and hospital schools will work towards a phased return of more children and young people without a focus on specific year groups."

But for the rest of secondary school students, Matt Hancock revealed on June 8 that they may not go back until beyond September.

He said in the press briefing: "Our current working plan is secondary schools won't be open until September at the earliest.

"I very much hope that they can because the impact on children's education is so significant."

It comes just after teaching unions revealed secondary school students may not go back full-time until January 2021.

And exam regulator Ofqual revealed it could be 2021 before exams can be sat.

PA:Press Association
Schools closed before the official lockdown and minsters are now trying to find a way to open them again[/caption]

How will social distancing work?

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson assured teachers and parents the June 1 returns would be the first phase of a "controlled and careful" return to schooling with a range of protective measures.

These include keeping class sizes small, making sure pupils stayed within small groups, observing strict hygiene and cleaning measures, and having breaks and mealtimes staggered to reduce crowding.

Schools and other settings should communicate their plans to parents once they have had a chance to work through them in detail.

For secondary schools and colleges, classes will be halved, the government said.

That means that classrooms and workshops will be rearranged "with sitting positions two metres apart.

"Where very small classes might result from halving, it would be acceptable to have more than half in a class, provided the space has been rearranged.

"Support staff may be drawn on in the event there are teacher shortages," the advice added.

Williamson said if scientific advice proposed a "limited number" of children could be sent back to school, it was his duty to allow this to happen.

"Of course safety comes first but we must also be aware of the potential damage to a child's education from not getting them back in the classroom," he added.

England is the only part of the UK asking schools to begin phased school reopenings from the start of next month, raising fears among teachers' unions about the risks of infection from the coronavirus.

AP:Associated Press
French schoolchildren wearing masks take their place in class as the country's schools reopen after the Covid-19 shutdown[/caption]

Will parents be fined for not sending children to school?

The government has said parents will not be fined for non-attendance at this time.

But parent and caregivers have been advised to "notify your child's school or college as normal if your child is unable to attend so that staff are aware and can discuss this with you".


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