A “LARGE NUMBER” of schools will open next week with pupils and teachers in “protective bubbles”, the Education Secretary has said.
Gavin Williamson this morning insisted lots of kids would be back in school next week despite continued opposition from unions.
Speaking less than 24 hours from the Prime Minister declaring more years would go back on June 15, Mr Williamson promised children were going back safely.
He told Sky News: “From the 1st of June we are going to be wanting all schools to start opening.
“We have set out guidance of how we want them to do this.
“We’ve always been clear from the 1st of June this is when schools start returning, in a careful, cautious, phased way.
“We have been working very closely with local authorities as well as academy trusts to make sure this is done in the best possible way, and we are very confident a large number of schools will be opening all the way through that week.”
It comes as:
- Boris confirmed primary schools WILL open on June 1 with some secondary pupils back in following weeks
- The PM faces a full-blown Cabinet revolt for sticking by embattled top aide Dominic Cummings over his lockdown breach.
- It was revealed diabetics have to stay at home to shield against the coronavirus once lockdown is lifted.
- The coronavirus death toll grew by 118 in 24 hours- the lowest rise of any day since lockdown began
- The BBC admitted it is pressing ahead with controversial plans to axe the free TV licence for millions of OAPs
Mr Williamson also insisted the return addressed some of the concerns parents had about sending their kids back.
He explained: “I know what some of the challenges of home education have been.
“There will be a maximum of 15 children per class, making sure there’s a protective bubble around them teachers and all those who work in schools.”
Last night Mr Johnson said returning kids to their classrooms is crucial for their “health, welfare and long term future”.
But he admitted it may “not be possible” for all to reopen by the start of the month.
Secondaries will start reopening a fortnight later, on June 15, so Year 10 and Year 12 can have “some contact” to help prepare for GCSEs and A-levels, he said.
Boris sprung the news at Sunday’s press conference after allegations Mr Cummings, the PM’s senior adviser, broke the lockdown twice, prompting calls for him to step down or be sacked.
Critics accused the Government of resorting to a “dead cat strategy” — a shock announcement to deflect away from bad news. The PM said Britain will be easing the lockdown and moving to “step two”.
British teaching unions have urged the Government to reconsider its plans to reopen schools for younger pupils.
Sir Keir Starmer has called for schools to reopen as soon as possible and pleaded with unions, parents and government officials to work together.
The new leader of the Labour party also revealed his children have attended school throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
It comes less than a week on from a bombshell report by the government’s top scientists warning lockdown has caused a “shock” to kids and will affect work opportunities for the rest of their lives.
Downing Street published the findings from SAGE in a move to reassure worried parents and teachers about its plan to re-open schools on June 1.
The documents – which also confirmed the risk of children catching coronavirus was “much lower” than adults – were released as militant teaching unions and councils prepared to defy the government and refuse to go back.
Only a handful of councils plan to reopen schools on June 1, leaving parents across the country in the dark over their children’s education.
The final decision on whether or not to open up classrooms will fall to headteachers and teaching unions.
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