The secretary of state has not given a reopening date, but has ruled out opening schools during the summer vacation to help students who have missed out on education catch up.
Questioned by the select education committee on Wednesday, Williamson told MEPs, “We recognize that the idea that all schools return on the first day with the full enrollment of students is neither realistic nor practical.
“I expect the schools to be opened gradually. I also intend to give schools as much advance notice as possible. “
There has been continued speculation about when schools could reopen, and whether older groups, including students in their last year of elementary school and those in the middle of GCSE and A-level courses could be among the first to be brought back to schools as they could benefit the most.
Asked who would return first, the education secretary said the government is studying best practices in other countries where schools are already starting to reopen. He said that a sub-group of the Scientific Emergency Advisory Group (Sage) advising the government on its response to the pandemic had been set up to focus only on the issues surrounding the reopening of schools.
“It is extremely important that we find the right balance to ensure that we create an environment that is conducive to learning but also a safe environment so that people can both work and learn,” he said. Deputies.
Education secretary was constantly asked about the impact of school closings on the most disadvantaged students of committee chair Conservative MP Robert Halfon, who warned of a “potential cascade of social injustice” growing that could last a decade. “
Only a small number of children classified as vulnerable by the government have taken school places that remained open to them during the coronavirus crisis, and research has suggested that many children from disadvantaged backgrounds have little or no access to online learning.