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Changes have been made to school reopening, the Government has announced.

Speaking in the House of Commons, the Education Secretary said the adjustments made would provide ‘flexibility’ to schools.

Among the changes, the Government has also said that ‘priority lists‘ will be used to explain to School Leadership Teams (SLTs) who will be offered spaces first.

What are the changes to school reopening?

Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson, said that primary schools will not reopen to more year groups.

Teaching Unions had previously said that getting more children back to school was ‘impossible’.

Mr Williamson told MPs:

We continue to follow the best scientific advice and believe that this cautious, phased return is the most sensible course of action to take.

While we are not able to welcome all primary children back for a full month before the summer, we continue to work with the sector on the next steps, where we would like to see schools who have the capacity to bring back more children in those smaller class sizes to do so, if they are able to do, before the summer holidays.

We will be working to bring all children back to school in September.

What are priority lists?

The introduction of priority lists is an acknowledgement by the Government to issues such as digital poverty, with certain groups struggling with the impact of school closures significantly more than others.

The Education Minister previously said that vulnerable children were ‘her priority’ in returning pupils to schools.

The Education Secretary said:

We are working to devise a priority list so that schools are able to – where they do have extra capacity – to be able to welcome back more children into these schools so that they’re able to support their learning but also their communities and including their parents who of course do need to be going out to work as well.

No further details have been provided to what these priority lists will include.

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