There has been some new movement in schools news over the past few days, so I thought it would help to update.
As ever, do let me know if any questions – email@example.com.
The government has announced that they intend for all schools to open fully in September if events carry on their current projection.
Life in the schools may be different – though the reduction of the social distancing requirements will give schools greater flexibility in approach.
It is increasingly likely that key exams – A Levels, GCSEs and Year 6 SAT’s will be delayed to slightly later in the summer term in 2021 to help students catch up on work missed this summer.
There is also a tutoring fund available to support students – aimed initially at those in poorer families.
It was announced yesterday that the Scottish government wants all schools to open fully from 11th August (the first day of the Scottish school year).
Schools will reopen on 29th June, but not fully and with staggered start times and part-time during the week. There has not yet been any announcement on plans for September 2020.
Northern Irish schools are currently closed but intend to begin as near to normal from September 2020 onwards.
A current state of play with schools in the UK. Things do seem to be a bit of a mess at first inspection but there is progress being made.
Many primary school children in England have returned to school, but not all year groups and not full time. The government has rowed back on its aim to have all primary aged children return for some school time over the summer term.
From today, some Year 10 and 12 pupils in England are returning to school – as with the primary children it will not be a full curriculum but to allow key year groups to have some teacher time.
Most councils have now reopened their admissions processes.
At the moment the expectation is that schools will fully return in September – though that will depend on progress with CV-19 over the coming weeks.
Most independent schools – benefiting as they do from smaller class sizes – are expecting a full return in September.
In Scotland, the intention is for all children to return to school at the start of the new year in August.
In Wales, schools are looking to reopen for all age groups – again with a staggered timetable – from 29th June.
In Northern Ireland, schools are looking for a phased return from late August onwards.
As ever, it is a constantly moving picture but I’ll keep you updated with developments.
The UK government is wanting children to start returning to school as early as 1st June 2020.
Initially this would be for pupils of primary age – Year 6, Year 1 and Reception – with schools having to follow social distancing rules when appropriate.
This return is being hotly debated. Unions are not keen on safety grounds, and some doctors have agreed with this. However many academy chains have thrown their weight behind the government plans.
At the core of the debate is the balance of risk between the risks of children spreading or contracting CV-19 versus the damage to the educational prospects of children not receiving proper schooling, felt much more keenly in poorer communities.
Secondary schools are unlikely to return until September 2020, though students in the first year of GCSEs and A Levels (Year 10 and 12) may have some teaching time before the end of term.
Most nurseries are looking to open from 1st June.
Universities are still unsure how much campus activity will be possible from the Autumn onwards.
Many countries are looking to phase the partial reopening of schools over the remainder of the academic year but some are keeping schools closed until the Autumn.
In the UK it is a mixed picture – in England, primary schools may start to reopen on 1st June if circumstances allow. It is unlikely secondary school will open before September apart from for key exam year groups, Years 10 and 12.
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are not committing to a timetable for reopening.
Across Europe a number of other countries are reopening their education systems – including Germany, France, Denmark, Netherlands, Greece – all slowly allowing children back to school.
It will probably not be a full school schedule – a mixture of online home teaching and staggered timetable within schools, with different age groups allowed to attend on different days.
Some countries – Republic of Ireland, Italy and effectively Spain are staying closed until the Autumn.
A key thing to remember is that school admissions offices are largely open – and any families thinking about a move in the Autumn (as most families probably will be) can start planning now – especially in independent and international school sectors.
Practically, families won’t be able to visit schools but many schools have set up virtual tours / open events that allow parents to speak to key teachers and view facilities.