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The slow return to schools in the UK

5 June 2020

UK Study Centre is carefully monitoring the reopening of schools in the UK and is keeping guardianship students and their parents informed of any new developments.

England has followed the example of other European countries and partially reopened schools just a few months before the end of this academic year. From the 1st of June Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 pupils were all allowed back to school.  Classes are being split into groups of no more than 15 pupils, with each group separated into smaller bubbles, each with 4-5 pupils, to avoid the spread of infection. Staff have been instructed to clean the classrooms regularly, wiping surfaces and equipment, with a full clean overnight, while children are expected to observe a strict handwashing regime throughout the school day.

The bodies that represent local authorities across England, as well as teachers’ unions, have all raised serious concerns about the plans to reopen due to difficulties in implementing new government guidance in such a short period of time. Private nurseries and pre-schools, however, have been more supportive of the government’s plan, over fears that a longer-term closure could have devastating economic impacts. Many families have also welcomed the plans and are eager to get back to some semblance of normality. The situation will become clearer in the coming weeks.

International students are expected to return to boarding schools in September. In addition, many schools have also announced that they would welcome students two weeks before the beginning of term should they have to quarantine. These new quarantine measures are expected to come into force on the 8th of June and will remain in place for a few months, however many hope that they won’t be required for too long.

Here at UKSC, we are continuing to monitor the situation carefully and work hard to keep our guardianship students and families informed of any new developments.

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