School closures

Schools should prepare to begin opening for more children from 1 June. The government expects children to be able to return to early years settings, and for Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 to be back in school in smaller class sizes from this point.

Secondary schools and further education colleges should also prepare to begin some face to face contact with Year 10 and 12 pupils who have key exams next year, in support of their continued remote, home learning.

The government’s ambition is for all primary school children to return to school before the summer for a month if feasible.

For pupils not covered by this announcement:

  • If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be.
  • If a child needs specialist support, is vulnerable or has a parent who is a critical worker, then educational provision will be available for them.
  • Parents should not rely upon for childcare those who are advised to be in the stringent social distancing category, such as grandparents and friends or family members with underlying conditions.
  • Parents should also do everything they can to ensure children are not mixing socially in a way which can continue to spread the virus. They should observe the same social distancing principles as adults.
  • Residential special schools, boarding schools and special settings continue to care for children wherever possible.

Full details around the closure of schools and other educational settings can be found here, this page contains information about the following:

What jobs are regarded as critical workers (key workers)?

In order to continue to offer critical services as part of the country’s ongoing response to the virus, children of workers who form a central part of effort – such as NHS workers, police and delivery drivers – will be able to continue to attend school, college or childcare provider.

Critical workers include NHS staff, police, farmers and food retail workers who need to be able to go out to work – the full list of those included can be found here.

Limiting social interaction

We’re all in this together and while this will be a big change and a big challenge for all of us, the Government has not taken this decision lightly. It has become clear that we must limit social interaction, even more than we have been, to save lives by ensuring our NHS continues to have the capacity to treat the most unwell.

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