Ebene News – GB – English schools in areas most affected by Covid will close for longer

Education secretary said schools in regions with the highest Covid rates will not reopen for much of January

Secondary schools in England will be closed to most pupils for the first two weeks of the term and primary and secondary schools in London and other areas worst affected by Covid could remain closed for longer, announced Education Secretary Gavin Williamson

In a statement to parliament, Williamson revealed that schools in areas with very high transmission rates would only allow vulnerable children and the children of key workers to enter in the first place, with others receiving a distance learning for much of January

In other regions, pupils taking exams mainly in grades 11 and 13 would be allowed to re-enter from January 11, with all year groups starting January 18

According to a list of local authorities released by the Department of Education, primary schools in most London boroughs as well as significant parts of Essex and Kent, and parts of East Sussex and Hertfordshire, as well as Milton Keynes, will be closed to all but a few eligible pupils

The DfE said a list of ’emergency framework’ areas detailing high schools and colleges that would remain closed to students would be released before Jan. 18

The statement means millions of university, college and school students across England will face delays returning to in-person classes in the new year, with some undergraduates only returning February

The new schedule also leaves students with uncertainty when taking exams, such as BTec external assessments, in the first two weeks of the new school term

Williamson, also confirmed plans to dramatically reduce the number of college students eligible to return to campus in the first weeks of January, as well as more stringent testing requirements

High school students will not be returning to their classrooms during the week starting January 4, with most scheduled to have extended vacations

Outside of the worst affected areas, those taking exams such as A-levels, BTecs and GCSEs will initially have online or distance learning courses while schools and colleges take tests mass on their students and return to school from January 11 Further annual groups will follow on January 18

But school reopenings and closures will vary by regional level, creating a confusing tangle of dates and year groups for parents and school leaders Primary and secondary schools in level ‘hotspots’ 4 most affected will be closed to most students for at least two weeks, only vulnerable children and those from families of key workers can attend in person

For universities, Williamson’s announcement means only one in five higher education students will be able to return to campuses in England by Jan. 18 Return will be limited to those taking clinical or laboratory courses such as medicine and nursing, as well as those in teacher training

The change means that hundreds of thousands of students who would have been eligible – those studying for degrees with practical elements such as architecture, design or the performing arts – will no longer be included in the first group back

The government must review the second and subsequent waves of higher education students who are due to return on January 18 and 25 and February 1, these decisions being linked to the status of the regional levels to which the students and institutions belong

Williamson stressed that college students will need to show they have passed recent Covid tests with negative results before being allowed to use campus facilities or receive in-person instruction Those who cannot get tests will have to self-isolate for 10 days

The backlog of schoolchildren and students has been hotly debated within the government, after its science advisers advocated for all schools, including primary schools, to teach remotely throughout the month January to reduce infection rates

A survey of parents of school-aged children conducted by the Parent Ping app found that 54% agreed that the start of the term should be delayed, while others wanted the delay only applies to secondary or level 4 schools Only 5% disagreed with any delay

More than four in five parents (81%) of the 575 parents who responded to the survey on Tuesday said they thought it was “very likely” or “very likely” that they should send their children to school at home in 2021

Karen Wespieser of Parent Ping said: “This is obviously a rapidly changing situation When we asked the same question before Christmas many more parents thought schools should open normally But most parents are now ready, perhaps reluctantly, to have to redo some sort of home schooling “

Schools, gavin williamson, school closures, school reopening, school closures

Ebene News – GB – English schools in areas most affected by Covid will close longer

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/education/2020/dec/30/return-to-english-secondary-schools-and-universities-to-be-delayed