Politics Explained

Coronavirus: How are schools preparing for the return of pupils in England and Wales?

Reopening of classrooms is crucial moment in emergence from lockdown, writes Andrew Woodcock

Sunday 30 August 2020 00:01
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Some year groups have returned to school in Northern Ireland
Some year groups have returned to school in Northern Ireland

The return of millions of children to schools in England and Wales next week is one of the most significant moments of the withdrawal from coronavirus lockdown, and huge stakes are riding on it politically.

Pupils have already been back for a fortnight in Scotland, where an outbreak of Covid-19 in a Dundee school linked to more than 20 infections sparked a hasty rethink of rules around face-coverings.

A rash of flare-ups in English schools – or a refusal by parents to send their children back – would be a deep embarrassment for education secretary Gavin Williamson and prime minister Boris Johnson.

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