September for Schools calls for detailed plan to get children back in school

Campaign group September for Schools is calling on the government to provide a roadmap to get all children safely back to school by September.

The group formed of working parents said while the government announcement that provision will be made for all children to be back to school in September is welcome, a clear, funded and practical plan needs to be in place by 13 July in order for schools to deliver on the commitment.

“Teachers need to prepare for a new season of learning, parents need to plan their work and childcare, and our children need to know that they will be back learning safely with their friends,” the group said.

With the right people around the table, including head teachers, unions, parent bodies, local authorities and the Department for Education, and with a solutions-focused mindset, it will be possible to find a safe and practical way forward, September for Schools said.

The group is urging people to call on MPs to sign Early Day Motion 621 that is being sponsored in parliament by Munira Wilson MP on this issue. 

The motion says children must be at the heart of the government strategy as lockdown eases and notes that research has shown that home-schooling has been inconsistent across the country during lockdown with disadvantaged children faring particularly poorly.

The motion also urges the recruiting of extra teachers to cope with demand and measures put in place so all children can learn online.

“We are not advocating any particular solution but whether it be full time, part time or blended learning and whether it be in classrooms, church halls or marquees in the playground, we all need a plan,” September for Schools said.

Official guidance on getting children back to school in September is due to be published on Thursday.

The guidance is expected to advise secondary headteachers in England to keep entire year groups separate throughout the school day, with staggered start and end times, as well as lunch and break times.

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