Government to reveal how schools will fully reopen in September

Education secretary Gavin Williamson. Picture: Chris Bishop

Education secretary Gavin Williamson. Picture: Chris Bishop - Credit: Archant

Staggered break times, putting children into “bubbles” and overhauling the curriculum are expected to be part of the guidelines in getting all children back into school this September.

The government is publishing its guidance today and Education Secretary Gavin Williamson is due to announce the plans.

It comes on the same day schools in Leicester close again as part of the city’s lockdown extension.

A draft of the official guidance reportedly bans the mixing of year groups - such as in assemblies - as well as school choirs, and suggests teachers also stagger the start and end of the day.

Contingency plans must also be in place in case of a local lockdown, the paper said, and schools will be required to liaise with their local health protection team if there are two or more confirmed coronavirus cases within a fortnight.

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A general rise in sickness or absence where COVID-19 is a suspected cause could lead to a year group or the whole school being told to stay at home and self-isolate as a precaution.

The details will be laid out at a Downing Street press conference today - the first time one which has been held since daily briefings were scrapped last week.

MORE: Headteachers warn schools can only fully reopen in September if social distancing is droppedThe Office for National Statistics will provide new figures today from the coronavirus infection survey for England, and the latest data on the NHS Test and Trace programme will also be published.

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It comes as the economic challenges of the pandemic were laid bare by a continuing jobs bloodbath.

The John Lewis Partnership warned over store closures and job cuts and Sir Philip Green’s Topshop empire revealed redundancy plans yesterday.

Upper Crust owner SSP announced up to 5,000 roles could go following plunging passengers numbers at railway stations and airports.

And Unite the union said its research revealed that almost 12,000 aerospace job losses have been announced in recent months at some of the UK’s biggest companies, including 1,700 by Airbus earlier this week.

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