When will primary schools reopen in the UK? – The Sun

BORIS Johnson announced some schoolkids will be back in the classroom on June 1.

But now more than 2,000 schools have refused to open on that date. Here's the latest.

When will primary schools reopen in the UK?

The PM, Boris Johnson, wants primary schools to begin opening their gates in a fortnight.

Primary schools in England are due to reopen on June 1 at the earliest on condition that coronavirus infections continue to drop.

At the May 16 Downing Street press conference, Gavin Williamson confirmed ministers are going ahead with plans to get some primary pupils back to school on June 1, saying: “We owe it to the children.”

Pupils in Reception and Years 1 and 6 could return to class first, while Mr Williamson also suggested on Saturday that Year 10 and 12 pupils could also return then.

The National Education Union has slammed the school plan as "reckless" and warned infection rates were still too high.

Doctors also said it was too risky to reopen schools on June 1 – however The British Medical Association, which represents doctors, dropped has since dropped its hardline opposition to reopening.

And now 2,269 primary schools have said they will refuse to let kids back into the classroom on June 1.

The heads of four school chains – Reach 2, Harris, Oasis and GEP – announced they were backing the government plan.

Wales's Education Minister, Kirsty Williams said: “The situation for schools in Wales will not change on 1 June. 

“You have my guarantee that we will give everyone time to plan ahead of a next phase starting.

“Any decision to increase the operation of schools will be communicated well in advance.”

Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, said that that the Scottish government would decide a “safe timetable” to reopen schools, rather than Westminster.

Northern Ireland's First Minister, Arlene Foster, has previously said schools are likely to remain closed until summer.

Which schools might not open?

An exclusive investigation by The Sun revealed at least 28 councils have warned schools under their control could stay shut.

Analysis by The Sun found the local authorities cover 2,269 primaries.

The best way to check if your school will be open is to stay in contact with them directly by checking their website.

Here are some of the councils who have cast doubt on the June 1 reopening date:

  • Bury
  • Hartlepool
  • Bristol
  • Durham
  • Bradford
  • Leeds
  • Wakefield
  • Calderdale
  • Rochdale
  • Solihull
  • Birmingham
  • Stockport
  • Wirral
  • Liverpool
  • Wigan
  • Slough
  • Essex
  • Brighton and Hove
  • Redbridge
  • Sefton
  • Barking and Dagenham
  • Gateshead
  • Newcastle

How will social distancing work?

The Department for Education issued guidelines on May 11 on how schools should enforce social distancing – including limiting class sizes to 15 students.

Schools are told to stagger lunch and break times, as well as drop-off and pick-up times, to reduce the number of pupils moving around at once.

It also said schools should look at bringing in a one-way system in corridors, or putting a divider in the middle to control the flow of kids.

Ministers admitted they cannot keep kids two metres away from each other all day, so each class will form a self-contained "bubble" so they don't mix with other kids at the schools.

A recent Tes poll of more than 17,000 UK school staff says social distancing in UK schools is “impossible”.

Which year groups will return first?

Reception, year one and year six are set to be the first year groups to return to schools after June 1.

Can I be fined if I don't send my child back to school?

School chiefs have said it is "extremely unlikely" parents will be fined for not sending their children back to class.

Ofsted chief Amanda Speilman said: "Given that there will be substantial numbers of children in households where somebody is at high risk, I think it is extraordinarily unlikely that anybody would start at the stick end of the spectrum rather than the carrot."

The National Association of Head Teachers also said parents should not be fined for refusing to send their kids to school post-lockdown.

The Department for Education added there were no "immediate plans" to penalise parents and caregivers.

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