Last reviewed 22 June 2020
Speaking at the daily coronavirus briefing at Downing Street, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson announced that all pupils in all year groups in England will go back to school full-time in September.
This would be difficult with class sizes currently limited to a maximum of 15 pupils, but he said that “expanding those bubbles to include the whole class” was being considered.
Mr Williamson said that guidance on safety measures will be published in the next two weeks.
He told parents: “I want to assure you that the well-being of your children is the absolute top priority for every single one of us.”
To tackle the impact of lost teaching time, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the Education Secretary have announced that £650 million will be shared across state primary and secondary schools over the 2020/21 academic year.
The Government expects this to be spent on small group tuition for whoever needs it although Mr Johnson said that head teachers will decide how the money is allocated.
Separately, a £350 million National Tutoring Programme will aim to increase access to high-quality tuition for up to two million of England’s most disadvantaged children over the 2020/21 academic year.
The Government’s ambition, the statement from the Prime Minister’s office said, is that all providers running holiday clubs and activities for children over the summer holiday will be able to open, if the science allows.
Mr Johnson said: “This £1 billion catch-up package will help head teachers to provide extra support to children who have fallen behind while out of school. I am determined to do everything I can to get all children back in school from September, and we will bring forward plans on how this will happen as soon as possible.”
Support guide for schools
Coinciding with the above announcements, the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) has published a guide to help school leaders and staff decide how to use the new funding to best support their pupils.
Providing advice on support strategies schools can use in deciding how to support pupils, including intervention programmes, extra teaching capacity, access to technology or summer schools, it can be found at https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/covid-19-resources/covid-19-support-guide-for-schools.