Government has new plan to get children back to school

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said the Government was still consulting on how to get children back to school, but said the plans would be unveiled this week.

Asked if there will be a detailed plan this week, Mr Williamson told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “There will.”

The plan will cover schools in England, while Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will have their own strategies.

Asked if all social distancing requirements could be removed to allow a total return, he said: “We’re going to take the opportunity to spell out exactly as to how we will see a full return for all children back into school before the end of this week.

“As I’m sure you’ll understand and appreciate at the moment, we’re consulting and talking with different people, whether it’s headteachers, whether it’s unions, whether it’s representative bodies.”

It comes as the Prime Minister said he is ‘deeply frustrated’ that more children have not yet gone back to school in England, and on te day wales opens its schools to more children for the first time.

The Prime Minister has accused teaching unions and others of failing to support the ‘back to school’ message by telling everyone that schools are safe.

And on Sunday the Prime Minister reminded people that it is illegal not to send your child to school.

While fines are currently suspended – that may not the the case from September.

Mr Williamson said advice on how schools will fully reopen in England will be set out “at the end of this week”.

He told BBC Breakfast: “What we will be doing at the end of this week is setting out further advice as to what the full return of all pupils looks like and giving clear steers to how schools should operate.”

In response to a question from a science teacher, he acknowledged efforts to reduce the spread of coronavirus will be more challenging in secondary schools.

“It’s going to be more complex within secondary schools,” he said.

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