• Sat. Feb 27th, 2021

When will secondary schools reopen – will there be a phased return?


Feb 22, 2021

Most students haven’t had face-to-face teaching in school since early January (Picture: Getty)

Boris Johnson is set to confirm the date for when pupils will be returning to school in England – but will there be a phased return for students?

With the mass vaccination rollout continuing across the UK, some younger children are already returning to school in Scotland and Wales.

Children aged three to seven in Wales have already returned to the classroom, along with some students on practical college courses, while Scotland’s youngest pupils are also returning to face-to-face teaching.

Mr Johnson has always said schools will be among the first establishments to reopen once restrictions have eased and he is set to stick to his word.

Here’s what we know about the reopening of schools.

When will secondary schools reopen?

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It is understood that schools in England are to reopen on March 8 as part of the Prime Minister’s cautious’ four-part plan to lift the coronavirus lockdown.

Nurseries have remained open during the latest lockdown, but primary and secondary schools are expected to open across the country, two weeks from today.

Mr Johnson has previously said he would give schools two weeks’ notice to prepare for their reopening.

In further good news for students, reports suggest all outdoor school-sports and activities are also set to be permitted.

Mr Johnson will confirm the plan for schools reopening later this afternoon.

Boris Johnson is keen to get students learning at schools once again (Picture: Getty)

In Wales, pupils aged three to seven returned to school on Monday, February 22 – along with some older pupils on vocational courses.

First Minister Mark Drakeford has outlined a provisional March 15 return for older primary pupils and secondary pupils preparing for exams providing ‘things continue to improve.’

The Scottish government has adopted a similar approach regarding young children returning, with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon hoping to set out the next phase of school reopening during the first week of March. However, there is unlikely to be any further return to school before March 15.

In Northern Ireland, schools will open to primary school pupils in years 1-3 on March 8, while pupils in years 12-14 in post-primary schools will return to class on March 22.

However, pupils in years 4-7 in primaries and years 8-11 in secondary schools will not return to school before the Easter break at the start of April.

Will there be a phased return to school in England?

Students at secondary school and college will be returning on March 8 (Picture: Getty)

There had been speculation schools would return year by year but reports suggest all school years will return at the same time.

Although schools are set to reopen to all pupils on March 8, it is thought a few days’ flexibility may be built in to allow measures like testing to be put in place.

Will students get Covid tests at school?

Parents may have to test their kids twice a week, reports suggest (Picture: Getty)

A report from the Daily Telegraph recently suggested schools will only oversee one round of testing when pupils return for the first time.

As a result the return of pupils could be staggered to ensure testing can take place safely.

Further tests may then be carried out twice a week at home by parents in the form of lateral flow tests but Mr Johnson will aim to clarify this in the coming days.

MORE : The four key tests England must pass for lockdown to end

MORE : PM’s roadmap out of lockdown to include schools, socialising and sport

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