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Primary schools encouraged to open to more pupils if they have capacity

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Today’s blog looks at the Department encouraging those primary schools that can open to more pupils before the summer to do so.

Yesterday Education Secretary Gavin Williamson told the House of Commons that while the Department will not be expecting all primary school pupils to return before the summer, we would like to see those schools that do have capacity to bring back more pupils, do so.

The majority of schools are now open for pupils in reception, year 1 and year 6. This cautious, phased approach to children returning to schools is allowing settings to reduce risk of transmission by having smaller classes of no more than 15 pupils.

School leaders, teachers and staff have done an incredible job in adapting to the new measures and in many cases have the capacity to welcome more pupils back. We know that the best place for children is in school where they can be with their friends and have the support of their teachers and that’s why where schools can welcome more pupils back and maintain social distancing, we encourage them to do so. We will be providing further guidance for schools on how to best maximise their capacity in the coming days.

Speaking to the House of Commons yesterday, the Education Secretary said:

“We continue to follow the best scientific advice and believe that this cautious, phased return is the most sensible course of action to take.

"While we are not able to welcome all primary children back for a full month before the summer, we continue to work with the sector on the next steps, where we would like schools that have capacity to bring back more children – in those smaller class sizes – to do so if they can before the summer holidays.”


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