The prime minister outlined plans for the reopening of primary schools in England in early June, but said it may “not be possible” to open all schools.
Boris Johnson said schools in the country were supposed to welcome primary children on June 1, addressing the nation during Sunday’s daily briefing (May 24).
While thanking all teachers and staff for maintaining schools for children of key workers and vulnerable students during the pandemic, he outlined new measures when schools reopened.
He promised that tests would be available to all staff and students who showed symptoms of Covid-19 to help prevent the spread of the virus in schools.
And he said they would try to use the outdoor space and increase the cleaning within schools as they encouraged children to return during the outbreak.
But he acknowledged that “it may not be possible” for all primary schools to reopen on June 1.
“I recognize that the June 1 opening may not be possible for all schools, but the government will continue to support and cooperate with the sector so that any difficulties encountered in schools can get a larger opening as soon as possible,” he told the briefing.
Boris Johnson said it would be “difficult” to reopen schools, but promised to work with the councils on the plan for England.
“This is going to be difficult,” he told the Downing Street news conference, thanking teachers and staff who had worked to keep schools running for the children of key workers and vulnerable students.
“What we will do is make sure we shake things up and speed things up and work directly with you, with the local authorities, to make sure there’s a plan.”
He said the key to fully reopening schools by September is to keep pushing the coronavirus R value – the rate at which the disease is transmitted – down.
“That will be the most effective way to ensure that not only our schools, but our entire economy is ready to go back as soon as possible,” he said.