Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, schools have remained open to children of critical workers and vulnerable pupils. Since 1 June schools have opened to pupils in reception, year 1 and year six and last week secondary schools, sixth forms and further education colleges opened to pupils in years 10 and 12.
Pupils in key transition years facing exams next year are now getting the benefit of time with their teachers before the summer holidays. This is all part of our phased approach to getting all pupils back to school by September.
Each week we collect data from schools to allow us to make an accurate assessment of the number of pupils attending. As of last Thursday, we know that the vast majority of schools are now open in some capacity and that more than a million pupils attended last week.
Our estimates show that on 18 June:
- 92% of schools were open in some capacity.
- 78% of primary schools had welcomed back more children, up from 67% on 11 June.
- 22,900 schools and colleges were open, with more than 1.1 million children attending.
- 60% of schools usually open to students in year 10 or 12 were open to at least one of these year groups.
Further to this, we are encouraging primary schools to open their doors to pupils in other years where they have capacity to do so in smaller class sizes and we know many schools around the country are doing this.
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said:
“It is encouraging to see the number of pupils returning to school continuing to grow. Around two thirds of secondary schools opened to more pupils last week, giving thousands of Year 10 and 12 students the benefit of invaluable contact time with their teachers.
“We expect these numbers to continue to rise - particularly now primary schools have the flexibility to invite back more children, if they can do so within the existing guidance – and would encourage families to take up the opportunity of a school place if they are able to.
“Being at school is vital for all children and I want to express again how incredibly grateful I am to all the teachers, childcare and support staff who are making it possible for young people to be back in classrooms, ahead of a full return for all pupils in September.”