/Schools opening date: Boris Johnson looks to reopen schools by this date

Schools opening date: Boris Johnson looks to reopen schools by this date

The plan is also to be able to provide support packages to help children catch up on lost learning. Detailed work is underway with schools, councils and unions to make sure all children are able to return in September if it is safe to do so, a Downing Street source said. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, schools shut in March, but selected age groups have been allowed to return since the beginning of June, including Years 1 and 6.

However, there were some educators who had decided not to open as they didn’t deem it to be safe.

The decision to gradually re-open schools has divided opinion.

Britain has suffered one of the world’s worst death tolls from COVID-19 and some critics warning of the need for caution to prevent a second wave of the virus.

According to a statement made, Boris Johnson has asked for measures to be drawn up to help children over the summer and further into the future.

Boris Johnson making his way to parliament

Boris Johnson making his way to parliament (Image: GETTY IMAGE)

For social justice reasons help was especially needed for those who had less support at home, it added.

The Prime Minister has already been under pressure this week to set out plans for returning children back into Education.

Former Education Secretary, Justine Greening, attacked the government on Newsnight last week for failing to conjure up a plan.

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Gavin Williamson, Education Secretary coming from Cabinet

Gavin Williamson, Education Secretary coming from Cabinet (Image: GETTY IMAGE)

She says we will need “a more structured plan” for pupils who are missing education because of coronavirus.”

Gavin Williamson, the education secretary, had hoped all primary schools in the country would reopen four weeks before the summer holidays but was forced to admit on Tuesday that this would be missed.

The reason as to why this would be an issue is partly because of the difficulty of keeping children apart and in bubbles of 15.

Government sources said scientists were reluctant to advise the watering-down of physical distancing rules at this point in the pandemic.

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School pupils in adjusting to lockdown

School pupils in adjusting to lockdown (Image: GETTY IMAGE)

Announcing the U-turn in the Commons, Williamson said he hoped all schools could return by September but could not guarantee that would be achieved.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer told Johnson this week that “parents have lost confidence in the government’s approach, millions of children will miss six months of school, and inequality will now go up.

“It’s time he (Johnson) took responsibility for his own failures. This mess was completely avoidable.”

Former Education Secretary attacks government

Former Education Secretary attacks government (Image: GETTY IMAGE)

Meanwhile, former Ofsted chief inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw said the government “needs to get its act together”, while Labour MP Meg Hillier, chair of the public accounts committee, suggested Williamson had been “asleep on the job”.

One of the plans suggested by the National Education Union, in its “national education recovery plan” published yesterday, is to teach classes in public buildings such as libraries, sports halls and religious buildings.

However, there are concerns over the lack of specialist facilities in such buildings, for example, science labs, art rooms and design and technology suites.

Others, such as education committee chair Robert Halfon, have called for an “army” of retired teachers to help out.

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