Children could start returning to nurseries in England from June 1

Young children could start returning to nurseries in England from June 1, with the Government aiming for all primary school pupils to go back for a month before summer.

The Government expects pre-school children to be able to return to early years settings, and for Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 pupils to be back in school in “smaller sizes”, from the start of next month.

It aims to ensure that the youngest children, and those preparing for secondary school, have “maximum time with their teachers”.

The Government’s Covid-19 recovery strategy said that the ambition is for all primary school children to return to school before the summer holidays for a month “if feasible” – but this will be kept under review.

The Department of Education will engage with schools and early years providers to develop further detail and guidance on how schools should facilitate this.

The 50-page strategy, published on Monday, added that secondary schools and further education colleges should prepare to begin some “face-to-face contact” with Year 10 and 12 students who have key exams next year.

Schools, colleges and nurseries closed seven weeks ago due to the coronavirus outbreak, remaining open only for vulnerable youngsters and the children of key workers.

The strategy says local authorities and schools should urge more vulnerable children, as well as the children of critical workers, to attend school as there is a “large societal benefit”.

The Government is also amending its guidance to clarify that paid childcare, such as nannies and childminders, can take place subject to being able to meet its key public health principles.

The strategy document says this should enable “more working parents to return to work.”

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