Coronavirus: school leaders say June 1 is the school’s first “realistic” opening date


June 1 is the first “realistic” date by which schools in England could begin to reopen, said the head teachers’ union.

Geoff Barton, head of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), warned that “planning should start very soon” for this to happen.

Education secretary Gavin Williamson said Sunday that the government has yet to make a decision on when to reopen the schools.

British schools were ordered to close more than a month ago, except for children of key workers and vulnerable children, as the coronavirus pandemic plunged the country into isolation.

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Students can alternate between studying at school and at home

Many details need to be worked out to ensure the safety of students, staff and their families at home after the schools reopen.

School heads wait several weeks to prepare a step-by-step return aimed at maintaining social distancing.

This means that students can alternate between studying in the classroom and at home so that schools are not at full capacity.

There could be limits on class size and staggered break times.

Many teachers said they would not go back to work without adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) and measures to stop the spread of the virus.

Barton said June 1 is the earliest that schools can reopen.

He told the BBC: “We cannot realistically see that schools could be reopened to more students before the second half of the summer term. “

He said school heads support the use of medical advice.

At a press conference on Sunday at No. 10, Williamson said that no date had been set for the reopening of the schools and that there were no plans to open them during the summer. .

He said five tests must be passed before schools can reopen.

Williamson said the five tests protected the NHS’s ability to cope, seeing daily death rates drop, having reliable data showing the infection rate was falling to manageable levels, sufficient supplies of tests and ‘protective equipment, and no risk of a’ second peak ‘of infections.

He said, “People are anxious to know when we are going to relax the restrictions, when the schools should be fully reopened and reopened.

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“Of course, I want nothing more than to review the schools, to bring them back to normal, to make sure the children are sitting, learning and feeling the joy of being in school.

“But I can’t give you a date. Because before we have to pass five tests. “

He added: “There are currently no plans to open schools during the summer period and we have not worked on plans to open them during the summer period. “

The school leaders expressed doubts about the possibility of social distancing in schools and took up the challenge of getting students to practice.

There are doubts about the possibility of social distancing in schools (stock photo)

Katharine Birbalsingh, founder and director of the Michaela Community School in Brent, north-west London, cited narrow hallways, small classrooms and many interactions between children, especially the young.

She told the BBC: “Social distancing in schools is simply impossible.

“We are considered to be the strictest school in Britain and even we would find it impossible. “

On Sunday, the secretary of education acknowledged that establishing social distancing in young children would be a challenge.

He said the UK is looking closely at how other countries are reopening their school systems.

Schools in Germany will open their doors from May 4, with priority for final year students.

In a new report released Thursday, the Scottish government said it would work with experts from different sectors “to understand the practical consequences, for example, of what physical distance would mean for schools and education, transport, businesses and leisure ”.

The report warned that any relaxation of the lockout restrictions will not mean returning to the situation before the pandemic.

He pledged that the measures would be relaxed “in a gradual and prudent manner”.


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