On Sunday 10th May 2020 – The Prime Minister announced that some of the Covid-19 lockdown measures would be eased – this included a possible phased return of primary schools. The PM told the nation that reception, year 1 and year 6 children would be the first to go back on a possible date of June 1st.
Soon after this I asked Twitter if they had a child in those year groups, would they be willing to send their children to school? Is it worth the risk?
So far it looks like most/most parents would keep their children off school
— Tom (@TJohns85) May 10, 2020
So far it looks like most/most parents would keep their children off school! A few teachers have commented saying they will no choice as they will have to work.
It also brings about many unanswered questioned, which I am sure will be answered in the coming days. Questions like:
How do you manage to tell 5 year olds to keep 2 metres apart?
How will class sizes be managed?
Will students be bused in? how will school transport be monitored to government guidelines?
Will their be staggered times of entry? managed lunch and social times?
Will taking your child to school be optional? What if you have one child in year 1 and one child in year 3 – can you return to work?
Will the keyworker list be extended?
It will also be the start of many secondary schools planning as the PM also said year 10 and year 12 will have some time their teachers before the end of the year (maybe he has forgotten they are still being set work and contacted by their teachers?). Many of the same problems I highlighted for the primary schools will be similar for secondary.
Just like before lockdown when all schools worked independently to quickly make plans for remote learning, with little or no guidance from government it will be the same again for planning for a phased return? Every school will now be planning, yes every school has a difference context and cohort, but would it not be easier for schools to be given basic guidance first and allow them to plan from these starting blocks.
Many schools will start to look at what measures, Europe and the world have implemented, as schools have started to reopen in other nations.
A return in staged year groups 
No more than 15 pupils per class 
Parents will not be forced to send their children to school – it will be optional 
If classes are oversubscribed keyworker and vulnerable children will get priority 
Primary pupils aged 5 to 11 would go back first (12.05.2020) 
The following week secondary students would return
Summer holidays will not changed 
All teachers and school staff should wear masks. Secondary students also need to wear them. 
Teachers with poor health / isolating will continue to work from home
French Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer said the aim was to have primary school children back in “small groups”, probably of “less than 10 pupils”. The plan is likely to prove challenging for headteachers in public schools, where classes of 30-plus pupils are common. 
Primary schools would reopen on 11.05.2020 
Pupils will attend school in rotation. One day for half the pupils the next for the other half. 
Half ‘groups will be all day at school the other is at home
Groups are split depending on surname so family groups will be grouped together
Secondary schools would reopen one month later 
Smaller classes – maximum of 20 students 
Shorter lessons 
Assemblies cancelled 
Avoid public transport – parents told to collect children by car 
Middle are high school students returned first 
Students walk past thermal scanners, have masks and screens 
All students and staff have had virus tests before turning to school 
Primary schools reopened 15.04.2020 
Desks are 1.8m apart 
Start times have been staggered 
Parents are not allowed in the school building 
Try to teach outdoors 
Primary schools reopened 27.04.2020 
Maximum class sizes of 15 pupils 
Most children kept in smaller groups 
Maximum of 10 students per class 
Open from 18.05.2020 
Schools remain closed until September
Students need to be 1.5 metres apart 
Reduced class sizes 
Desks spaced apart 
Teachers of 60 and those that are vulnerable are told to stay home 
Hallways are one way systems 
Teachers to wear masks 
Students and teachers can be tested twice a week 
Schools opened in a staggered fashion 
1 class or quarter of the students from each grade 
Schools shut until September 
These blogs may also be of interest – for lockdown related educational blogs:
Which measures do you want to see in our schools?Follow @TJohns85