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29 April 2020updated 06 Oct 2020 9:45am

Schools will reopen in “phased“ way, education secretary says

By Samuel Horti

Education Secretary Gavin Williams has confirmed schools are likely to reopen in a “phased” way.

He told the House of Commons Education Committee that ministers were “giving a great amount of thought to” how to reopen schools, and that he has asked government scientific advisers to set up a group to examine the issue.

He said he could not give a date when schools would begin reopening.

Schools have been closed since 20 March, except to the most vulnerable pupils and children of key workers. Other European countries have also taken a phased approach to opening schools, letting pupils attend some, but not others.

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Williams also said he was “very open” to proposals from the committee for up to 200,000 university graduates to help children catch up with their schooling through a volunteer tutor scheme, and to the idea of paying schools a “catch-up premium”.