SCHOOLS around the country remain closed as the government look to control the spread of coronavirus.

Here are the details on the current situation, with children learning from home due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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What do we know so far?

In his March 18 address, Boris Johnson stated UK schools will be closed “until further notice”.

Michael Gove has said that schools won't re-open May 11, though there are plans in the works.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson unveiled Oak National Academy, which is set to provide 180 lessons a week for those still at home.

BBC have also revealed their Bitesize Daily lessons in which celebrities and teachers will provide daily videos to help parents with homeschooling their children and give kids fun things to do while learning.


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When will schools reopen?

Schools are closed because the scientific and medical advice indicated that was the safest thing to do, and schools will subsequently re-open when advice shows it is safe to do so.

However, schools have stayed open for vulnerable kids and the children of key workers.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has refused to say when schools will be reopened for all kids.

There is current speculation that they won't fully open until September 2020, though this really depends on the state of how Britain handles the spread of the virus.

There are plans in the making to have a staggered approach and mitigate risk of spreading the virus at the same time as working in social distancing measures.

Several ministers had suggested opening after Easter, but this was shut down as the coronavirus lockdown is expected to last until at least next month.

Only the children with parents that are key workers are currently going into 'skeleton' schools to ensure they have someone to look after them during the normal school hours.

Primary Schools

Schools for younger children are expected to return sooner than those in high school due to them needing their parents to remain at home to look after them.

The government is concerned that the continued lockdown will have huge economic implications, therefore they are eager for workers to return to work – which they would not be able to do if they have children of school age that require adults to look after them.

Last week, primary school children were linked with potentially returning as soon as May 11, but education chiefs have since said that they are looking into gradually opening schools again in June.

Secondary Schools

For secondary school students, there is no current timetable as to when they will return – but may not be back until September.

Teachers are conducting distance learning with pupils and a lot of online tutoring companies have been offering free assistance.

Yet, with exams cancelled, including GCSE's, they may not be back until the next school year.

What is going on with exams?

Exams have been cancelled, leaving hard-working teenagers in a difficult, stressful and frustrating place around their futures.

The exam regulator, Ofqual, and exam boards will work with teachers to provide grades to students whose exams have been cancelled this summer. Exam boards will not be issuing any papers or tests at all.

The government is using a mix of student performance criteria that include teacher assessments, mock exam grades and overviews of a pupil's general work.

The government guidelines say: "The calculated grades awarded will be formal grades, with the same status as grades awarded in any other year."

University representatives expect universities to be flexible and do all they can to support students and ensure they can progress to higher education.

There is a lot of worry over how that will play out in practice, particularly for underprivileged students or kids who just didn't take the mock exams as seriously as the real deal.

5 key principles to bare in mind

  1. If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they must be.
  2. If a child needs specialist support, is vulnerable or has a parent who is a critical worker, then educational provision will be available for them.
  3. Parents should not rely for childcare upon those who are advised to be in the stringent social distancing category such as grandparents, friends, or family members with underlying conditions.
  4. Parents must also do everything they can to ensure children are not mixing socially in a way which can continue to spread the virus. They must observe the same social distancing principles as adults.
  5. Residential special schools, boarding schools and special settings continue to care for children wherever possible.

If a student does not believe the correct process has been followed in their case they will be able to appeal on that basis.

In addition, if they do not feel their calculated grade reflects their performance, they will have the opportunity to sit an exam, as soon as is reasonably possible after schools and colleges open again.

Students will also have the option to sit their exams in summer 2021.

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