Schools reopening UK: When will schools reopen and what will happen with exams?
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Children have been social distancing from schools and teachers in a bid to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. The Government started easing lockdown restrictions all over England in June, meaning non-essential retailers such as pubs, cafes, and clothing shops, were able to reopen.
When will schools reopen?
For all children aside those of key workers and vulnerable children, schools have been closed for almost a month.
Addressing the nation on March 18, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that schools would be closing “until further notice”, leaving a lot of ambiguity as to when they would open again.
The latest news, however, indicates that children could be heading back to school in the near future.
Ministers are reportedly drawing up plans to ease the lockdown and get kids back in the classroom as soon as possible.
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While schools were initially going to open in May, Michael Gove denied reports at the time.
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson is set to announce new measures to improve learning from home.
The Government is still requiring that children stay at home, wherever possible, and has clarified that schools will only remain open for children who really need it.
Despite previous beliefs that schools would remain closed until September, an unnamed senior minister claimed that they could start opening again after the Easter break.
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The Government official told The Times: “We need to be led by the science, of course.
“But if we can reopen schools after the Easter holidays things could begin to get back to normal. It could kick-start the economy.”
Downing Street shut down claims that schools would reopen after Easter after London mayor Sadiq Khan said the virus’ peak has not yet arrived.
Now, in September, most children have returned to the classroom, while schoolchildren in Scotland went back to school in August.
What is happening with exams?
Exams have been cancelled, which has left teenagers in a sticky situation in regards to their future.
Exam regulator Ofqual, along with exam boards are set to work with teachers and provide grades to students whose exams have been cancelled.
Exam boards will not be issuing any exam papers or tests whatsoever until the foreseeable future.
The Government will use a combination of student performance, which includes teacher and any previous assessment, mock exam grades and overviews of a pupil’s general work.
The Government guidelines on the subject state: “The calculated grades awarded will be formal grades, with the same status as grades awarded in any other year.”
Universities are expected to be flexible in terms of exams, and do this best to support students and ensure they are able to progress or graduate.
If a student is unhappy with the grade they have been given, they will be able to appeal the mark on that basis.
Additionally, if they feel like calculated grades do not reflect accurately on their overall performance, they will be able to sit exams as soon as the opportunity is available.
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