Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to lay out the plans next Sunday. The strategy is expected to include tests for asymptomatic staff in workplaces and according to Whitehall sources, the Prime Minister is looking to give three weeks’ notice to teachers in primary schools. On Saturday, Robert Jenrick, the Housing, Communities and Local Government Secretary said: “Home learning is not easy, particularly when one or both parents are trying to work from home as well.”
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The earlier restart to primary schools is reportedly to allow parents to return to work as well as to avoid disruption to key early years development.
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The date of June 1 could be pushed back.
The current date is supported as the R number, the rate of infection, is between 0.5 and 1.
This figure represents the average number of people infected by a coronavirus sufferer.
UK schools are closed except for vulnreable pupils and children of key workers (Image: GETTY)
A Whitehall source told The Sunday Telegraph that reopening primary schools was “crucial for economic reasons, to get things moving, but also for educational reasons”, adding “early years development is very important”.
However, secondary school pupils “can do a lot more at home and online. They are not as pressing as primary schoolchildren, who we know need a lot of attention”.
Jenny Harries, the Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England, said there were “some signs that potentially younger children are less susceptible to disease and potentially transmit it less”.
Data expected next week from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) will give ministers a clearer picture of how the virus is spreading and whether they can press ahead with any exit plans.
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