Coronavirus: Plans for all pupils in England to return to school in September

Last updated at 10:39
Pupils at Greenacres Primary Academy in Oldham, northern England on 18 June, 2020AFP

All children in England will go back to school full-time in September, under current plans.

The announcement was made by Education Secretary Gavin Williamson, who said: "School is vital to every one of our children".

Schools had been closed for most pupils since March to stop the spread of coronavirus.

In June, Year 1 and Year 6 students were allowed to return, but with no more than 15 pupils in each classroom.

Now plans are being made to make it safe for everyone to go back in time for the new school year, with class sizes expected to be larger again.

Gavin WilliamsonAFP
At the daily coronavirus briefing Gavin Williamson said: "The government was "signed up... to bring every child back, in every year group, in every school".

The news comes after the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, announced a Β£1 billion fund to help England's children catch up with learning.

Schools are going to be told how the plans will work in the next two weeks.

But, some people don't think that this is a good idea and are worried about children's safety and class sizes getting bigger.

At the moment the government has told schools that desks should be spaced as far apart as possible and lunch, break, drop-off and pick-up times need to be spaced at different times of the day.

"There is no social distancing if you've got 30 children in one classroom," said Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the National Education Union.

Mr Williamson has stressed though to parents that "the well-being of your children is the absolute top priority for every single one of us".

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The current school opening plans aren't the same in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Schools in Wales are reopening at the end of June, with only a third of pupils in class at any time, while in Scotland, schools are preparing to reopen on 11 August.

Social distancing in schools has been reduced to one-metre in Northern Ireland, where plans are in place for a full reopening of schools in September.

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