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Schools: Coronavirus

Question for Department for Education

UIN 52522, tabled on 1 June 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure that the needs of three-tier school systems are included within the strategy for the planned reopening of schools.

Answered on

10 June 2020

We are expecting all mainstream schools and colleges, including independent schools and middle schools, to follow the same approach to wider opening.

Based on all the evidence, the Department asked primary schools to welcome back children in nursery, Reception, year 1 and year 6, alongside priority groups (vulnerable children and children of critical workers), from 1 June. From 15 June we are asking schools to offer some face-to-face support to supplement the remote education for year 10 and, where they have sixth forms, year 12 students who are due to take key examinations next year, alongside the full time provision they are offering to priority groups.

We encourage middle schools to do the same to ensure national parity for children in these year groups. Although in three-tier school systems year 6 students are not facing a transition to a new school, it represents the end of Key Stage 2 and so welcoming pupils in year 6 back will allow schools to support the transition from the primary to secondary curriculum.

There continues to be extensive engagement with teaching unions and other school stakeholder organisations both at a ministerial and official level.