THOUSANDS more kids studying for next year’s GCSEs and A-levels will be able to return to school from Monday.
Almost nine in ten secondaries and colleges are set to reopen their doors to Year 10 and 12 pupils, according to a survey.
The Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) said the move would be the latest in the rollback of lockdown measures.
It follows the reopening of many primary schools to reception, Year 1, and Year 6 pupils at the start of the month.
Government guidance says no more than a quarter of secondary school students should be on site at any one time.
Most are planning to bring back face-to-face contact with all pupils, except those who are shielding, at least once a week.
But a quarter won’t welcome back all eligible children because of parents worried about the virus.
The survey of 833 heads also found some will put back reopening until at least June 22 due to concerns over local infection rates.
How schools will keep kids safe
ASCL general secretary Geoff Barton said schools had “moved mountains” to stay open during the pandemic and get kids back into the classroom.
He said: “This is akin to something between a military operation and an exercise in mathematics.
“There are many practical safety measures to put in place, as well as allocating small groups of eligible pupils to available teachers, while ensuring no more than a quarter of the cohort is on site at any time.
“School and college staff deserve great credit for all they have done over the past few months, and all they are doing now.”
Mr Barton said ministers now need to come forward with a national recovery plan that lays out how schools will operate for the next academic year.
He said: “It is essential that this plan is developed as soon as possible in order to give schools and colleges time to prepare for this vital mission.”