Primary and secondary schools across England are currently closed due to Covid-19, with the exception of children of key workers and vulnerable children.
Although the Government has not yet said when schools will definitely reopen to all pupils, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has announced that parents, teachers and children will be given “good notice.”
‘We’d aim to give teachers, pupils and parents two weeks’ notice’
The Education Secretary said that the Government would give parents and teachers enough advance warning of when schools will reopen, in order to give them time to prepare.
Mr Williamson said the plan is to give people two weeks’ notice before schools reopen their doors, and that the Government is looking at how schools can welcome all students back as early as possible.
He told Times Radio: “We had to close schools, it was a national decision … to relieve pressure on the NHS and reduce movement, but we do want to see all schools open.
“My enthusiasm to see them open will ensure that if we can get schools open at the earliest moment, then that is what we’ll be doing.
“We’ll give teachers and parents time to prepare … and give them good notice of it. But we want to see school children back.
“We’d aim to give teachers, pupils and parents two weeks’ notice so they’re able to get ready and we’ll always be looking for how we can get schools open for all at the earliest possible moment.”
When could schools reopen?
Although Mr Williamson has said parents, teachers and children will be given two weeks’ notice before schools are set to reopen, a firm date of when they will do so has not been set in stone.
However, the Education Secretary told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that he hopes schools in England can fully reopen before Easter.
This year, Easter Sunday falls on 4 April, with Good Friday landing on 2 April.
Addressing when schools might reopen, Mr Williamson said: “I would certainly hope that that would be certainly before Easter.”
However, he added: “Any decision to open schools to all children is based on the best health advice and the best scientific advice.
“The reason that we were placed in the position to close schools to all but the children of critical workers and vulnerable children was down to the mounting pressure on the NHS.”