A return to school in phases?
There has been much speculation in the press about how and when schools will fully re-open.
There are also many ideas as to how schools will operate safely and adhere to social distancing protocol. Ideas have included using one-way corridors, outside canteens and running a rota of which students should physically come into school on any one day or week.
Despite the conjecture, it has been made clear by Gavin Williamson that schools will return in 'phases' and that "all schools returning on day one with a full complement of pupils would not be realistic".
Naturally, many parents and those working in schools are nervous about returning too soon and putting the health and wellbeing of children, staff, and parents at risk.
There appears to be a consensus in the media that the government are hoping to re-open schools from June 1st.
Meanwhile, 86% of schools remain open for the children of key workers, and those who require assistance according to a recent TES poll with a majority of school reporting only a handful of students attending.
The research also showcases how well schools have adapted to this crisis with the mass majority utilising digital technology to deliver teaching and learning remotely. Of course, schools have been overwhelmingly supported by education suppliers who have often given access to their platforms for free, a somewhat under-reported fact!
New COVID-19 guidance for schools released.
June 1st is appearing quickly on the horizon, and the government has released over 30 guidance documents to support educational settings in preparing for their wider opening.
There have been some strong reactions to some schools returning with some local councils indicating that they will not be opening.
One area where there does seem to be agreement is that the current situation may increase the attainment gap between the poorest students and the other pupils.
Here you can find the 30+ documents released by the government to support schools
Michael Gove believes that schools are safe to reopen, but ‘you can never eliminate risk’ - BBC
Several councils reject government guidance on June 1st opening - Financial Times