Back to school: Pupils return on first day of lockdown easing

Monday, June 1, 2020

Schoolchildren have begun the gradual return to the classroom as the government’s changes to coronavirus lockdown rules come into force today.

From this morning schools are open for Reception, Year one and Year six classes in England, having been closed for 10 weeks.

The move comes after Boris Johnson announced last week that the government’s five key tests required for relaxing restrictions had been met.

Business Secretary Alok Sharma told talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer that the easing was “very cautious, phased and modest” after some health officials expressed concerns.

Dr Jeanelle de Gruchy, the president of the Association of Directors of Public Health (ADPH) warned: “Directors of public health are increasingly concerned that the government is misjudging this balancing act and lifting too many restrictions, too quickly.”

And a survey of 1,200 senior school leaders, conducted by the National Foundation for Educational Research, also suggested that despite the rule change 46 per cent of families were expected to keep pupils at home.

Former Education Secretary Baroness Nicky Morgan, told talkRADIO she understood concerns but that resuming classroom education was “the right thing to do”.

She told Julia: “Of course parents are going to be nervous and staff are going to be nervous as well…but for the youngest pupils it’s a very important part of their education.

“And for the most vulnerable, and for those who have not had much education for  various reasons over the last few months, I think it’s right.”

Read more

Julia Hartley-Brewer brands Labour council ‘bunch of idiots’

Mike Graham berates ‘militant’ unions over back to school row

talkRADIO: Listen live for the latest updates on Covid-19