Primary schools reopened today as part of Boris Johnson’s ‘conditional plan’ for reopening the UK, children expected back were Reception and Year 1, plus Year 6, but many thousands didn’t turn up.
Boris Johnson’s government has invested considerable political capital in opening classrooms to primary school pupils in three year groups – reception, year one and year six – leading to warnings by independent scientists that it is too soon to reopen while transmission and infection rates remain so high.
While most of England’s 18,000 primary schools opened to more pupils today, a large majority of headteachers say they are not able to accommodate all three year groups, in some cases for the remainder of the school year. Even headteachers were surprised at the number of children that didn’t turn up however.
It comes as a warm weekend saw people flocking to beaches and parks around the UK, prompting members of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) to express concern over the lockdown changes. But England’s deputy chief medical officer, Dr Jenny Harries, has said the public would be safe if they were “sensible” and did not “overdo it.”