Schools reopening announcement: What did Gavin Williamson's say?

EDUCATION secretary Gavin Williamson made an announcement to the House of Commons about schools reopening in September.

So far, only a few school years have returned to classes, while GCSE and A Level exams have been cancelled.

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What did Gavin Williamson announce about going back to schools?

Gavin Williamson announced that all children and young people are to return to full-time education from September.

Below are the other criteria set out by the education secretary.

Limits on attendance will be lifted to allow schools to open at full capacity

Current restrictions on group sizes will be lifted to allow schools, colleges and nurseries to fully reopen to all children and young people, as Covid-19 infection rates continue to fall.

Schools and colleges to deliver their full curriculum, ahead of exams next summer

To ensure pupils can catch up on lost learning, schools will be required to resume teaching a broad and balanced curriculum in all subjects, making use of existing flexibilities to create time to address gaps in knowledge.

Schools should consider how all subjects can contribute to filling gaps in core knowledge.

This will help pupils catch up and will work alongside the financial support provided to primary and secondary schools through the Government’s £1 billion Covid catch-up package. 

This is on top of the £14 billion that we are investing in schools over the next three years.

Exams will take place in 2021 and Ofqual is consulting on arrangements for those exams, including measures to mitigate any impact on pupils from time out of school.

Limits on nursery group sizes to be lifted from 20 July

From 20 July, restrictions on group sizes for nurseries, childminders and other early years providers will be lifted, increasing capacity for more children to return.

COVID-19 tests to be sent out to all schools and colleges

Schools and colleges will be sent out a small number of testing kits.

These will be taken home by staff or pupils who develop symptoms while on site but who would struggle to access a testing centre.

This is so they can have a test quickly to help curb the spread of the virus.

'Covid-19 secure' measures to remain in place, with children self-isolating at home where needed

Secure measures will remain in place to reduce the risk of transmission, with schools being asked to keep children in class or year group sized "bubbles" and encourage older children to keep their distance from each other and staff where possible.

This is alongside protective measures such as regular cleaning and handwashing.

'Year Bubbles' to be introduced

"Year bubbles" which will be in use in all schools in England.

These "bubbles" will separate entire year groups with staggered start and finish times to keep them apart during breaks and lunch.

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