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UK Government expected to drop plan for all primary pupils in England to go back to school before summer

Children at primary school - Image credit: Barry Batchelor/PA

UK Government expected to drop plan for all primary pupils in England to go back to school before summer

The UK Government is set to shelve its plan to get all primary school pupils in England back into the classroom before the summer break.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson will update MPs this afternoon on the aim to get all primary pupils to spend at least four weeks at school before the end of term.

And Williamson is expected to concede that many primary school pupils will not return to the classroom until the new academic year in the autumn.

The UK Government’s coronavirus ‘roadmap’, which spells out how it will ease a raft of lockdown measures, marks out an “ambition” for all primary school children to return for four weeks of lessons before they break up for summer.

So far only pupils in reception, year one and year six at primary school have resumed their lessons, with the UK Government aiming to up contact time for secondary pupils in years 10 and 12 from Monday,

Health Secretary Matt Hancock told the Downing Street press conference on Monday night: "Our current working plan is secondary schools won't open until September at the earliest.

"I very much hope that they can because the impact on children's education is so significant.

"But what we have to do – not only in schools, but right across the board – is work out how we can get the other things that matter going.

"Like schools, like hospitality, like retail. And get them going safely and carefully, in a way that doesn't lead to the spread of the virus, and that is going to require ingenuity."

Plans to reopen schools have been fiercely contested by teaching unions, while some councils have also urged caution while the UK Government’s ‘test and trace’ system for mapping COVID-19 outbreaks gets up and running.

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