Schools and Nurseries: Coronavirus

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

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Photo of Caroline Lucas Caroline Lucas Green, Brighton, Pavilion

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether it is the Government's policy that state-funded schools and nurseries should plan to pay for the additional (a) cleaning required by covid-19 risk assessments and (b) classroom based staff required in schools to allow school leaders to be flexible in how clinically vulnerable members of staff are deployed from (i) existing budgets and (ii) new Government money; and if he will make a statement.

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

The Government has been clear that our plan is for all pupils, in all year groups, to return to school full-time from the beginning of the autumn term and on 2 July we published guidance to help schools prepare for this. The measures set out in this guidance provide a framework for school leaders to put in place proportionate protective measures for children and staff, including information on cleaning and workforce.

Individuals who were clinically extremely vulnerable and received a letter advising them to shield are now advised that they can return to work from 1 August as long as they maintain social distancing.

Schools and local authorities have continued to receive their core funding allocations throughout the COVID-19 outbreak. Following last year’s Spending Round, school budgets are rising by £2.6 billion in 2020-21, £4.8 billion in 2021-22 and £7.1 billion in 2022-23, compared to 2019-20. We are planning to spend over £3.6 billion on early years education entitlements in 2020-21.

As stated in our guidance, schools should use their existing resources when planning to welcome all children back for the autumn. Early years settings should do the same.

The guidance can be viewed at the links bellow:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-early-years-and-childcare-closures/coronavirus-covid-19-early-years-and-childcare-closures#funding.

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