Schools: Coronavirus

Department for Education written question – answered on 15th July 2020.

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Photo of Alec Shelbrooke Alec Shelbrooke Conservative, Elmet and Rothwell

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether it is his policy that (a) all schools return to normal teaching and (b) wraparound care providers resume normal operations in September 2020.

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

The Government has been clear that our intention is for all children to return to school from September. We want to get all children and young people back into education because it is the best place for them to learn, and because we know how important it is for their wellbeing to have social interactions with their teachers and friends.

On 2 July we published guidance to help schools plan for a full return of all pupils in September. In our guidance we advise schools to teach an ambitious and broad curriculum in all subjects from the start of the autumn term but make use of existing flexibilities to create time to cover the most important missed content.

Schools should consider resuming any breakfast and after-school provision, where possible, from the start of the autumn term. We recognise that schools may need to respond flexibly and build this up over time. Such provision will help ensure pupils have opportunities to re-engage with their peers and with the setting, ensure vulnerable children have a healthy breakfast and are ready to focus on their lessons, to provide enrichment activities, and also support working parents. Schools should carefully consider how they can make such provision work alongside their wider protective measures, including keeping children within their year groups or bubbles where possible. If it is not possible to maintain bubbles being used during the school day then schools should use small, consistent groups.

As part of Step 3 of the Government’s recovery strategy, wraparound care providers operating away from a school or nursery have been able to open from 4 July. We have published guidance for after school clubs and wraparound care providers, available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/protective-measures-for-holiday-or-after-school-clubs-and-other-out-of-school-settings-for-children-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak.

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