Schools reopening statement: What time is Gavin Williamson's speech today?

EDUCATION secretary Gavin Williamson will make an announcement today about schools reopening this month.

From today, kids across the UK are heading back to the classroom for the first time in nearly five long months.

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Last month, Gavin Williamson announced that all children and young people are to return to full-time education from September.

What time is Gavin Williamson's speech today?

Now the Education Secretary is set to make a statement at 3.30pm today from the House of Commons.

Both Williamson and Shadow Education Secretary and Labour MP Kate Green will address qualification results and the full opening of schools and colleges, Labour's Whips' Office tweeted on Monday.

What is the Education Secretary expected to say?

The Education Secretary is expected to reassure parents who may be nervous about their children returning to classrooms.

He is also expected to reiterate the criteria for schools reopening that he set out in July.

These are that limits on attendance will be lifted to allow schools to open at full capacity and that Covid-19 tests will be sent out to all schools and colleges to be taken home by staff or pupils who develop symptoms.

Covid-19 secure measures will also remain in place to reduce the risk of transmission, with schools being asked to keep children in class or year group sized "bubbles" and encourage older children to keep their distance from each other and staff where possible.

Similar to the open letter he issued to parents August 30, Williamson will reassure parents of the safety measures taken to prepare schools for reopening.

In the letter, he urged parents "to keep in mind that all four of our country’s chief medical officers, including Chris Whitty, are unanimous in believing the health risk posed by Covid-19 to children is extremely low".

"An extensive study by the British Medical Journal this week said that the risk of severe illness due to Covid for children was ‘vanishingly small’ and the chance of them being admitted to hospital because of the virus was ‘tiny’," he added.

Williamson is also expected to warn that parents who choose not to send their children back to school that it “could well put a huge dent in their future life chances”.

Have all UK schools reopened?

Schools, colleges and nurseries will fully reopen from September 1 or 2 to all children and young people, as Covid-19 infection rates continue to fall.

Some schools went back earlier as their summer holidays end in August, such as in Leicester and Scotland.

Primary schools and nurseries began to reopen on June 1 for children in reception, Years 1 and 6 and in nursery.

Secondary schools, sixth forms and colleges opened for face-to-face contact from June 15.


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