According to The Times, 'whole class' bubbles could be introduced in England's schools to bring all children back into the classroom. The Department for Education (DfE) has said further guidance on full school reopenings will be published next week. By Rosemary Bennett. Under the Government's plans, schools are expected to be required to limit contact between classes or year groups, but pupils within each bubble will not have to socially distance from each other. By Peter Stubley, The Independent. The Rev Nick Seward, headmaster at Kingham Hill School, writes to The Times in favour of a "no contact" rule in schools, which he argues would be "more practical" and "easier for children to follow" than a specified distance. The letter can be found towards the end of the page.
Schools Week reports the DfE has denied claims it is "rewriting history" after publishing a blog stating primary schools have never had to keep children within bubbles two metres apart from each other.
The DfE has confirmed schools will have to use their existing budgets to cover additional costs incurred during the process of reopening. By Freddie Whittaker, Schools Week.
Tes reports £650 million of the Government's catch-up funding will be spread across schools evenly, regardless of the levels of disadvantage among their pupils. By Charlotte Santry.
Alicia Munckton writes in The Spectator arguing the difference in provision offered by state and independent schools in lockdown is widening the attainment gap between pupils. The article quotes Neil Roskilly, chief executive of the Independent Schools Association.
According to a report for the Early Years Alliance, 25 per cent of childcare operators are likely to close within a year due to coronavirus restrictions. By Greg Hurst, The Times.
Colin Bell, chief executive of the Council of British International Schools, has said international schools face a drop in teacher recruitment and pupil numbers as a result of the pandemic. He added "teachers have shown remarkable resilience and resolve and they're facing these things with a very realistic lens". By Catherine Lough, Tes.
Larry Flanagan, general secretary of the Educational Institute of Scotland, has said the Scottish Government's decision to fully reopen schools in August was a "political announcement [...] not an agreed outcome". He said the union is "not convinced" that dropping social distancing requirements in schools is safe, adding "we are absolutely certain that physical distancing between pupils and teachers remains essential". By Mark McLaughlin, The Times. John Swinney, the deputy first minister and education secretary for Scotland, has said COVID-19 testing and temperature checks could be introduced in schools, and local lockdowns could be imposed if coronavirus outbreaks occur among pupils when they return to school in August. By Daniel Sanderson, The Telegraph.
The Telegraph reports more than 100 of Britain's sporting figures have signed an open letter urging the Government to guarantee its £320 million funding package for primary school sport "to help young people reconnect and recover from the damage done to their wellbeing in recent months". By Jeremy Wilson. Jane Nickerson, chief executive of Swim England, has warned 10 per cent of swimming pools face permanent closure due to lockdown restrictions. She added the organisation is "terrified there will be a lost generation who can't swim" if pools are forced to remain closed. By Jeremy Wilson, The Telegraph.