UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has confirmed primary schools will open on June 1 and secondary schools will “provide some contact” from June 15 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Reception (first year of primary school in the UK), Year One and Year Six will be the first to return, Johnson said during the daily coronavirus press conference at Downing Street on Sunday.
“I do believe we will be in a position to move to Step Two of our plan. As part of Step Two we set out plans for a phased reopening of schools because the education of our children is crucial for their welfare, their health, for their longterm future and for social justice.
“And so in line with the approach being taken in many other countries, we want to start getting our children back into the classroom in a way that is as manageable and as safe as possible,” he added.
The Prime Minister confirmed some secondary school pupils would also have contact with schools from next month.
“From June 15, for secondary schools to provide some contact for Year 10 and Year 12 students to help them prepare for exams next year with up to a quarter of these students in at any point.
“By opening schools to more pupils in this limited way we are taking a deliberately cautious approach.”
He said the decision to reopen schools on June 1 came after a “constructive period of consultation with schools, teachers and unions led by the Education Secretary Gavin Williamson”.
Johnson said he acknowledged not every school was in a position to open on June 1 but the government would support them to open as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, the UK coronavirus death toll has increased by 121 further fatalities in the past 24 hours. The total is now 36,914.