Staggered return for secondary schools after Christmas holidys

Education secretary Gavin Williamson in his office following the announcement that A-level and GCSE

Education secretary Gavin Williamson in his office following the announcement that A-level and GCSE results in England will now be based on teachers' assessments of their students. Picture: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Secondary school pupils will have a staggered return to the classroom in January, the education secretary will reveal.

Gavin Williamson will later today make a written ministerial statement outlying arrangements for schools after the Christmas break.

In it he will announce that while exam-year students in secondary schools will return as normal, those not due to sit them will begin the spring term online.

It is hoped that in staggering the return in England, headteachers will be helped in rolling out mass testing in the new year.

Meanwhile, primary school pupils will go back to school as normal in January, alongside exam-year students, vulnerable pupils and key workers' children.


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It comes with schools facing mounting pressure to continue educating pupils while also keeping them safe from the pandemic.

Currently, heading into the Christmas holidays, some 14 schools across the county are currently either fully or partially closed as a result of outbreaks.

Mr Williamson will address the House of Commons this afternoon - on the same day health secretary Matt Hancock confirmed Norfolk and Waveney would remain in Tier 2 of the coronavirus restrictions. 

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