Schools: Coronavirus

Department for Education written question – answered on 11th June 2020.

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Photo of Alex Sobel Alex Sobel Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to support schools in helping (a) pupils in (i) reception and (ii) year 1 and (b) other younger pupils to socially distance when their school reopens during the covid-19 outbreak

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

On 28 May, my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister, confirmed that the Government’s five tests were met and we could move forward with easing the lockdown measures which have been in place across England. Based on all the evidence, we have been able to begin our cautious and phased approach to asking schools and nurseries to open for more children. This means that from 1 June, primary schools have begun to welcome back children in nursery, Reception, year 1 and year 6, alongside the priority groups they have been caring for since the end of March.

We know that, unlike older children and adults, early years and primary age children cannot be expected to remain 2 metres apart from each other and staff. In deciding to bring more children back to school we are taking this into account and asking schools to implement a hierarchy of controls to reduce any risk of transmission. These include minimising contact and mixing by keeping children in small consistent groups. Full guidance on implementing protective measures is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-implementing-protective-measures-in-education-and-childcare-settings/coronavirus-covid-19-implementing-protective-measures-in-education-and-childcare-settings.

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