UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that plans for the reopening of primary schools for key year groups will go ahead as planned on June 1.
The PM acknowledged that not all schools may be able to reopen from June 1 and that reopening schools would be ”tough”, but said that the government would continue to work with the sector moving forward.
Mr Johnson said that secondary schools should start to provide some face-to-face contact for students in Years 10 & 12 from June 15.
Speaking on Sunday, the Prime Minister said;
“What we will do is make sure that we stagger things, we pace things and we work directly with you, with local authorities, to make sure that there is a plan.”
“That is going to be the most effective way to ensure that not just our schools but all our economy is ready to go back as fast as possible,”
“I acknowledge that the 1 June opening may not be possible for all schools but the government will continue to support and work with the sector so that any schools experiencing difficulties are able to open more widely as soon as possible.”
The announcement comes after concerns have been raised by teachers, doctors and unions about the reopening of schools. The reopening of schools from 1 June is still subject to the government’s five tests being met by Thursday (28 May), including their being evidence of continually falling death rates from the Coronavirus in the UK.
Guidance released to schools by the Department for Education has recommended the reduction of class sizes, staggering break and lunchtimes, utilising outdoors space more and increasing amounts of cleaning.
The First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon has tweeted a reminder that the comments on schools by the Prime Minister only apply in England.
The Prime Minister also said on Sunday that information on how and when non-essential retail may be allowed to reopen will be announced within the next week, with it expected that shops may be able to reopen in June.