Department for Education. Actions for educational and childcare settings to prepare for wider opening from June 1. 2020a.

Reopening: How and at what cost?

02 April 2020
Volume 1 · Issue 2

As the British Journal of Child Health (CHHE) is going to press, the Department for Education (DfE) announced the government's ambition to start reopening schools from the first of June, releasing two documents to help schools in England prepare (DfE, 2020a; 2020b).

The aim is to start reopening schools for Nursery, Reception, year 1 and year 6 pupils, and for secondary schools to offer some face-to-face contact for years 10 and 12. Recommendations include maintaining social distancing, halving class sizes and a focus on minimising contact and mixing between groups of pupils, as well as promoting good hygiene. These measures have already been criticised for being very difficult to apply in many settings and have been branded as unsafe (see pages 59 and 94).

Meanwhile, it is widely expected that Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland will not be reopening their schools until the next academic year. So why does England want to reopen schools earlier? As I mentioned in the last issue, I believe that many important decisions from the English Government relating to the pandemic have been made with the aim of preserving its economic interests first, and I have a feeling that this one might be no different.

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