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Private Education: Coronavirus

Department for Education written question – answered on 12th June 2020.

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Photo of Charlotte Nichols Charlotte Nichols Labour, Warrington North

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what guidance his Department has issued to private schools on a timeline for reopening schools following the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Minister of State (Education)

Guidance on the wider opening of all schools applies to all schools in England, including independent schools, can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers/reopening-schools-and-other-educational-settings-from-1-june. It includes detailed guidance on how schools can manage and minimise risks to children, teachers, and their families as they reopen.

We encourage all independent schools to follow the timelines we have outlined for wider opening and welcome the constructive and supportive approach taken by the sector throughout the COVID-19 outbreak.

At this point, we have asked primary schools to welcome back children in Reception, year 1 and year 6, alongside the priority groups (vulnerable children and children of critical workers) that could already attend. While we will be unable to welcome all primary children back for a month before the summer, we continue to work with all parts of the education sector on the next steps. We would like to see wider opening to enable schools that have capacity to do so to bring back more children in the smaller class sizes before the summer holidays.

As outlined by my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister on 24 May, secondary schools should prepare to invite year 10 and 12 pupils back into school for some face-to-face support with their teachers from 15 June.

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