The Speaker
Wednesday, 17 July 2024 – 19:52

Schools to get two weeks’ notice ahead of reopening

The Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has said that schools will be given two weeks’ notice before reopening.

Schools in England are currently closed to most pupils due to the national lockdown, with students learning online from home. Schools do though remain open for vulnerable pupils and the children of key workers.

Speaking during TV interviews on Thursday morning, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said that he wanted to see schools open “as soon as the scientific and health advice is there”. 

There is uncertainty as to when exactly schools may reopen, with Coronavirus hospital admissions and deaths continuing to rise rapidly and put significant pressure on the NHS. Currently, school pupils have told they will continue to learn online until at least February half-term, though it is expected that this period may be extended.

It has been suggested in recent days that when schools do reopen, they may do so in a staggered fashion, potentially by region depending on Coronavirus pressures. 

The government has said that the reopening of schools will be prioritised when lockdown measures are eased. Earlier this month, the Government showed reluctance in closing schools, despite demands from education and teachers’ unions for the reopening of schools to be delayed after the Christmas break.

Schools are also currently closed to most pupils in Scotland and Northern Ireland until at least mid-February, while restrictions will be reviewed in Wales next Friday.

The continued closure of schools means more lost face-to-face teaching time, with students only being able to interact with teaching staff and other students online. When England’s new national lockdown was announced at the start of this month, it was confirmed that most exams would be scrapped and replaced with teacher assessed grades due to the further disruption.

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