The decision to keep all London primary schools closed is not the first reversal in education-based policy by the government during the pandemic.
The first primary school return:
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson initially set out plans for all primary-age children to return to school for at least four weeks before the summer break.
But on 9 June he said he had “no choice” but to change his mind, amid concerns that the two-metre social distancing rule would make a full return impossible.
School meals for disadvantaged children:
The government did not intend to keep the free school meals available during the holidays.
But England footballer Marcus Rashford, himself a recipient of the meals as a child, led a campaign which saw councils and local restaurants and other food outlets step up to provide meals for children who needed them.
The government later reversed its decision and extended the food voucher scheme into the summer holidays.
Face masks at school:
Mr Williamson said COVID-secure measures in schools meant the wearing of face coverings would not be necessary but this was reversed in August.
The government said face coverings should be worn in corridors and communal areas by staff and students in Year 7 and above in schools within coronavirus restriction areas.
A-level and GCSE results in England:
The prime minister and Mr Williamson initially defended a controversial algorithm used to grade students, which saw almost 40% of A-level grades reduced below teachers’ predictions.
After criticism from students and headteachers and a backlash by Tory MPs, the government decided A-levels and GCSEs would no longer be graded by a controversial algorithm.
The announcement on 17 August, just days before GCSE results were due to come out, followed an earlier vow from Mr Williamson that there would be “no U-turn, no change”.
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