Schools: Coronavirus

Department for Education written question – answered on 3rd June 2020.

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Photo of Lord Greaves Lord Greaves Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to the implications of resetting the last academic year so that the 2019–20 curriculum starts again at the start of the autumn term this year, in the event of most students in schools not being able to return until that time or later; and whether any advance planning for such a reset is taking place.

Photo of Baroness Berridge Baroness Berridge Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade) (Minister for Women), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

From the week commencing 1 June 2020, we have asked primary schools to welcome back children in nursery, Reception, year 1 and year 6, alongside priority groups (vulnerable children and children of critical workers). This is the first step in a cautious and phased approach to fully reopening schools.

We want to get all children and young people back into education as soon as the scientific advice allows because it is the best place for them to learn, and because we know how important it is for their mental wellbeing to have social interactions with their peers, carers and teachers.

The department has issued guidance on remote education during the COVID-19 outbreak and has supported The Oak National Academy, an initiative led by 40 teachers who have assembled video lessons and online resources to be used by any teacher in the country for every year group from Reception to year 10. Additionally, the BBC has developed resources as part of a comprehensive new education package available on TV via the red button, on iPlayer and online.

The department continues to work with the education sector on how best to make up for time spent out of school. We are not, however, expecting children and young people to have to restart the academic year in the autumn term.

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