Primary schools given greater flexibility to invite back more pupils

Overview

The Department for Education (DfE) explains that primary schools in England are to be given flexibility to invite back more pupils, but only if the school has capacity within existing guidelines and if protective measures are in place.

What is the current situation?

Children in Early Years, reception, year 1 and year 6 began returning to classrooms on 1 June. Updated guidance on 15 June gives headteachers and school leaders the ability to invite back additional children if – having back the pupils in eligible year groups – they are able and feel ready to do within the existing guidance.

Schools will have flexibility to decide which additional pupils to prioritise for return, provided existing guidelines are followed and protective measures are in place, including limiting primary class sizes to no more than 15 pupils.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said:

“We have a range of protective measures in place in schools to reduce the risk of transmission and I would like to encourage primary schools to invite more children back if they can maintain those existing guidelines.

“I would encourage parents to take advantage of a place if they are eligible, and I’d like to thank teachers and staff for all their hard work as we take the next step in our phased and cautious approach to returning all children to school.”

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