MINISTERS will hand councils and schools millions of pounds to put on extra bus services to get all kids back in the classroom.
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson secured the package from the Treasury.
Ministers will hand councils and schools millions of pounds to put on extra bus services to get all kids back in the classroom
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson announced the plans as part of efforts to get all kids back in the classroom next month
Government medical advisers have warned that the biggest risk of schools reopening next month are possible coronavirus spikes caused by pupils and parents travelling to and from the premises.
Extra buses mean local authorities can make social distancing easier — and kids can avoid using public transport where there is greater chance of transmission.
They will also cut the number of parents doing the school run with their kids – further reducing the health risk.
Downing Street reaffirmed Boris Johnson’s vow to ensure all schools will reopen fully at the start of the autumn term next month.
The lockdown in north west England had sparked fears that schools there would remain shut.
The handouts are a pre-emptive strike from ministers amid fears unions and parents will oppose schools reopening on the grounds that transporting kids raises the risk of transmission.
Full details of the funding for school buses will be unveiled later in the month.
School start times will be staggered to enable more trips outside of peak hours.
Government advice on the reopening of schools has also said schools should consider “walking buses” — where a supervised group of kids are walked to and from school.
- Education watchdog Ofqual has warned that exams for next year could also be delayed by Covid-19.