English schools and colleges have once again closed to most students as the country grapples to contain the current wave of coronavirus infections.
Boris Johnson announced earlier this month that schools would move to online learning for all pupils – except children of key workers and the most vulnerable – with immediate effect.
With many parents once again having to juggle homeworking with homeschooling, many are wondering how long this latest shutdown will last,
Just when will schools be reopening in England?
But when will schools and colleges reopen?
The PM previously said he hopes to reopen schools in mid-February after the half-term break – but this is by no means a given, with speculation that schools could remain shut until after the Easter holidays.
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has said that schools will be given ‘a clear two-week notice period’ before reopening – meaning they could learn as soon as next week whether they will be opening again after half-term, which is the week of February 15 for most schools in England.
What we will be wanting to do is to give schools as much notice as possible so teachers can get ready, children can prepare, and parents know in order to manage their lives,’ Williamson told Sky News.
‘One of the key criteria is whether the pressure on the NHS has started to lift, that is why we had to take the national decision, very much in the national interest, one that I personally never would have wanted to take to see schools closed again,’ he added.
‘We had to make that decision because of the pressure on the NHS and needing to reduce movement in society and in communities.’
However he added that schools ‘were the last to close’ and ‘will be very much the first to open’ once lockdown measures start to ease.
England’s deputy chief medical officer Jenny Harris has also weighed in on the reopening, suggesting that schools across England may reopen at different times depending on infection rates in the area at the time.
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