In September, roughly 9 million schoolchildren in England are set to head back to school since lockdown began in March.
Following the countrywide lockdown in March, many have been concerned over the impact of ‘lost learning’ on a generation of children, especially those from lower-income households. Because of this, there has been a growing consensus among politicians over the reopening of schools in September.
This week, Downing Street has reiterated Boris Johnson’s determination to reopen all schools to all pupils at the start of the upcoming academic year, however, he has acknowledged that some schools may not reopen straight away due to localized lockdowns.
Infection rates in some parts of England have seen a rise in recent weeks, which has resulted in localized lockdowns in parts of the country.
This weekend, leading scientists and the NASUWT teacher’s union highlighted their concerns regarding the safety of the government’s current strategy. Additionally, unions have said that the current policy regarding schools does not align with wider public health guidance and wants teachers to have the same protection as other key workers.
For instance, the wearing of masks in schools is uncertain. Unions have urged for teachers, support staff and pupils to be allowed to wear face masks, with some schools even recommending that pupils wear masks inside of school buildings.