Press release

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Teacher pay

Teachers don’t want to strike – they want to be in the classroom teaching our pupils. But we cannot stand by and watch the biggest real-terms decline in teacher pay this century.

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School Funding

The Government needs to recognise the changed circumstances since the 2021 Spending Review and put more money into our children’s futures.   

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James Cleverly

As the eighth Secretary of State for Education since 2014, and the third since Tuesday, we hope that James Cleverly will immediately address the issues that are vital to young children and the teaching profession.

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Key Stage 2 SATs Data

Students and teachers have worked incredibly hard this year, but it remains the case that SATs and other statutory tests do not support children’s learning. 

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EPI on Teacher Pay

An inflation-plus pay rise for all teachers is essential, especially now we are in a cost-of-living crisis with RPI inflation standing at 11.7%.

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Teacher pay in Wales

Given this very poor pay proposal, NEU Cymru will ballot our members in the autumn. We simply cannot allow these attacks on our members pay and their standards of living to continue. 

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Overseas Teachers

The NEU entirely agrees with the minister that the expertise that schools can draw upon shouldn't be limited by geographical location.

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Queen’s Speech

The Government claims that its new Schools Bill will level up education opportunity. It will do no such thing. It displays an alarming lack of aspiration and ambition.

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Palestine

Commenting on the passing of Motion 43 at the Annual Conference of the National Education Unio

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State of Education: Assessment

In the latest annual survey of 1,788 National Education Union members, conducted ahead of Annual Conference in Bournemouth, we asked about nationally set assessments, including Key Stage 2, GCSEs and A Levels.

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State of Education: Poverty

The latest annual survey of 1,788 National Education Union members, conducted ahead of Annual Conference in Bournemouth, shows the strength of feeling about and widespread witnessing of child poverty in England’s schools.

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Michael Fabricant

Comment on remarks made by Michael Fabricant MP following the announcement of fixed penalty notices for the Prime Minister and Chancellor

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Child Q

Comment on the passing of an urgent motion on Children’s Rights and Police in Schools at the Annual Conference of the National Education Union

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Replace Ofsted campaign launch

Today, the National Education Union (NEU) has launched a new accountability campaign and national petition calling for the replacement of Ofsted with a new approach to school and college evaluation which is supportive, effective and fair.

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Pay

Comment on the passing of Motion 10 at the Annual Conference of the National Education Union

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Schools White Paper

This is a White Paper which does not reflect on the mistakes of the past, does not address the problems of the Covid-19 present and does not have the answers for the future.

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LGA on Free School Meals

The LGA is right to point out the importance of ensuring no child or young person eligible for free school meals misses out on this essential service which is vital both for pupils' education and health.

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Public Accounts Committee on Academies

The report makes all too clear that the proposed plans are likely to be both unworkable and damaging. The rationale of the academy system - based on competition between chains - means there will always be schools that are left unsupported.

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Post-16 Consultation

We strongly criticise the Government’s decision to de-fund AGQs which include BTECs and Cam Techs at level 3. Scrapping these will massively impact disadvantaged students who f have used these qualifications to progress to higher education and into employment for years

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NFER on Future Employment Skills

The research highlights that to help current and future students flourish in the 21st century, England must change its approach to assessment and qualifications. If no change to assessment is made, these problems will persist.

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Vaccines for Clinically Vulnerable Children

This announcement won't have an impact on transmission rates in schools or make a significant difference to the turbulence that schools and colleges are experiencing due to Covid. This makes the case stronger for Government to introduce better mitigations. 

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Data on School Inspections

Routine inspections have been an ​unnecessary distraction during this term. Government has recognised this and has at least paused inspections until January, but they must go further.

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Measuring Child Poverty

There needs to be clear and immediate action from every part of Government to tackle the inequalities which have widened even further because of the pandemic. 

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School attendance data 2021

Half term provided a reduction in the rates of transmission, which was foreseeable, but we do not have that fire shield to get us through the remainder of autumn term.

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Pupil Learning Loss

Teachers worked hard for all their pupils throughout the pandemic and the needs of disadvantaged is of paramount importance to school and college leaders and their staff.

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Spending Review

Today, the Chancellor Rishi Sunak had a historic opportunity to value education and value educators. Despite his rhetoric he has failed. 

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Cuts to Universal Credit

The cut to Universal Credit contradicts the Government’s promise to level up. The help that is now offered to families has been cut down to completely inadequate levels.

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Children in Poverty

This report demonstrates the impact of coronavirus on families living on the brink. The NEU agrees with the Committee's call for a new cross-departmental strategy to tackle child poverty.

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Education unions respond jointly to STRB

Education unions respond have jointly to School Teachers' Review Body (STRB), criticising pay freeze imposed by Government. Teachers and school leaders have made an immense contribution to the country's pandemic response.

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SAGE on Schools Reopening

This statement from SAGE is a rebuke to Gavin Williamson. Nothing has been done to prepare for the possibility of large numbers of cases which will lead to lots of disruption for staff and pupils

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Back to School

We all want the return to school to be successful. This charm offensive from Government relies on the notion that the removal of safety requirements will magically transform school and college life.

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CO2 Monitors

This is a really welcome first step in accepting our argument that funding is needed for good ventilation. It is vital, though, that Government must also commit to supporting schools to address any ventilation problems identified by these monitors.

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A-level results 2021

Today’s results were achieved amidst unprecedented levels of disruption and adversity, but students can rest assured that they have been judged according to the work they have actually done.

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Flu Vaccines

The NEU welcomes the news that there will be a mass vaccination programme against the flu including of children.

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Qualifications in 2022

This consultation is unlikely to provide definitive answers ahead of the new term starting in September. At best it will be a partial picture of arrangements. 

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Changes to Covid Restrictions in Schools

This is neglectful and reckless decision-making, when schools and colleges quite obviously need the backing of Government to ensure their workplace remains safe. This is not a Government which oversees, but one which overlooks.

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Initial Teacher Training

The NEU urges the Government to halt the ITT market review, take a pause for breath, and then really engage all stakeholders in a discussion about what the issues and solutions in ITT provision are.

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Attendance Data

The continued sharp rise in Covid-related pupil absences risks leaving plans for the end of the school year in tatters.

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Thank A Teacher Day

While there have been many unsung heroes during this pandemic, Thank A Teacher Day gives us all an opportunity to recognise the work that has gone on in schools and colleges up and down the country.

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School Absence Rates

The new attendance figures are very worrying. In secondary schools the rate of absence for Covid-related reasons has tripled in just one week, while in primary schools the rate has doubled in a week.

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NFER on Apprenticeships

The NEU supports proposals to help young people access apprenticeship programmes but this report lays bare the disproportionate impact those reforms are having on younger apprentices.

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Sutton Trust on Early Years

The report confirms what early years educators have repeatedly told Government: recovery from the pandemic must be concerned with building back the social element in children's lives.

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Cuts to International Aid

The Government's plans for slashing overseas aid are indefensible. A direct line can and will be drawn between these cuts and irreversible damage to children's fundamental right to education, safety, and dignity.

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EPI preliminary findings

We agree with the report’s conclusions that overcoming the pandemic is possible and that it should serve as a catalyst for sustained improvements in education.

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Face Coverings in Class

The NEU welcomes the fact that the Government has accepted the scientific consensus that the wearing of face coverings by staff and students in classrooms forms a key part of a comprehensive strategy of measures to suppress transmission of Covid-19 in schools and colleges.

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Post-16 Sector

If the Government is to achieve its agenda of levelling up and the promise of better jobs, it must restore funding and pay in the sector.

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Venezuela

The sweeping sanctions and economic blockade imposed on Venezuela are blunt instruments that have led to ordinary people suffering inhumanely.

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Workload

Analysis after analysis and survey upon survey continue to demonstrate that teacher workload remains unsustainable and is the main driver for leaving the profession.

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Supply Staff

The Covid crisis has demonstrated even more reasons to change the way that we organise the provision of supply staff in schools.

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Protecting Black Lives in Education

Throughout 2020 and 2021, racism and the value of Black lives has been the subject of persistent and painful news stories, and the Covid pandemic has laid bare the extent of racial inequalities in all areas of social policy.

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Rising child poverty

The last ten years has seen a dramatic rise in child poverty across the UK – and without drastic, immediate action from Government the numbers will increase.

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Stop Toxic Testing

Today, the Union has set out the measures government should take to learn from the failures of the past and to open up our narrow, test-driven and restrictive education system so that it benefits all learners, from the early years to adulthood.

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The State of Education: Young People’s Mental Health

In advance of the National Education Union’s annual conference, held online this week, more than 10,000 teachers, leaders and support staff from across the UK and in all school and college settings have made clear their views on the State of Education and the conditions under which they work.

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Baseline Assessment

“This year of all years is a terrible time to introduce a statutory requirement to introduce a baseline test which is designed not to give information to either teachers or parents.

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EPI report on SEND postcode lottery

It is an impact of the systemic cuts to SEND funding that local authorities in the most disadvantaged areas are found in the report to have been forced to ration support for the children with greatest need.

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Labour's analysis of class sizes

The Labour Party is right to highlight this important issue. The proportion of pupils in outsized secondary classes is at its highest point in the last 40 years with 1 million children being taught in classes of more than 30. 

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Budget 2021

The Government has said schools are a “national priority”, yet this Budget has provided schools with no new resources to manage coronavirus.

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Awarding Grades for 2021

Government acted too late. Had there been steps taken at the start of the academic year to prepare for the eventuality that exams may not be able to happen, this could have been more easily resolved.

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Schools Wider Opening from 8 March

Today’s announcement that all pupils will return to English schools and colleges on 8 March demonstrates, again, that Boris Johnson has, despite all his words of caution, failed to learn the lessons of his previous mistakes

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Early Years Census 2021 Return

The clarification to the census guidance is a limited and confusing response to a worsening crisis. Its offer of top-up funding does not guarantee the necessary level of financial support.

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MHRA on Testing in Schools

We have always supported the idea of mass testing in schools as a means to facilitate safe on-site learning, but this has to be consistent with scientific understanding.

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Keep early years safe and funded

The National Education Union and UNISON have highlighted a series of funding and safety issues ministers must address to ensure community safety around the care and education of young children. 

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SATs Cancelled

Teachers and parents will be relieved that Gavin Williamson has faced up to reality and cancelled this year's SATs tests.

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Mass Testing for Schools

This announcement gives almost zero notice for unions to assess the plans, or for schools to implement them. The Government’s suggestion that the preparation for the roll-out of testing should happen this week is ridiculous.

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Greenwich Council

This Government really has taken a step too far. They should hang their heads in shame. Parents, students and school staff will not forgive this wilful neglect of their safety.

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ONS Figures

The latest ONS Coronavirus survey figures should be very worrying to the Government - especially in the run up to Christmas. They show that cases are again rising in secondary and primary schools. 

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Testing in Schools

Rolling out testing in these two areas is a start, but the Prime Minister needs to urgently address those other parts of the country where infection rates remain high.  

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Joint unions express outrage at pay offer

Trade unions representing staff in English further education colleges have today (Thursday) slammed the decision by the Association of Colleges (AoC) to offer a 1% pay increase and demanded to know what additional Government funding had been spent on.

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Attendance Figures

The latest figures from the last week of national lockdown are deeply depressing. One in five secondary pupils and one in ten primary pupils were absent last week

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DfE on Primary Assessment

Teachers require an assurance that the results of key stage 2 tests in 2021, which cannot possibly be a measure of the quality of a school, will not be used as a measure of accountability.

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Independent SAGE

This is a welcome intervention by Independent SAGE, which once again exposes the enormous blind-spot that Government has towards schools.

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Aid Budget

258 million children were out of school before the Covid pandemic and millions more now stand to never return.

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Public Sector Pay 2020

The Government will argue this is about holding down public sector pay because private sector pay has gone down, but it makes no sense economically.

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EPI on School attendance rates

With high numbers of pupils and staff having to isolate as a result of Covid cases in their school, Govt decisions are doubling the difficulties faced by disadvantaged children and young people.

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NEU calls for an end to holiday hunger

The National Education Union is asking people to support and sign an open letter to the Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson, calling upon him to eradicate holiday hunger by providing Free School Meals (FSM) to all children who need them over the school holidays.

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Attendance figures October 2020

The latest figures on school absence add to an ever-more compelling argument that Government needs to be vastly more assertive in its efforts to futureproof schools against the effects of Covid outbreaks.

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NAHT: Cancellation of SATs 2021

We welcome the NAHT stand. Teachers and headteachers are now united in their call for cancellation: the Government should listen. Statutory assessment in 2020/1 serves no useful purpose.

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Coronavirus: School Closure Data

The Government’s inability to provide what schools need to ensure they remain open for as long as possible is unacceptable and will affect not only children's education, but the wellbeing of staff and students.

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Pisa

This report makes for interesting reading. With almost one million children in classes of 31+ even before Covid struck, we know that we need smaller classes and more teachers if we are to avoid huge disruption to pupils' learning because of isolation.

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EPI Annual Report

If the Government is serious about ensuring all pupils receive access to a good quality, equitable education they must put their money where their mouth is and put measures in place to lift pupils out of the grip of poverty and disadvantage. 

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NEU Cymru comments on GCSE Results

Schools and colleges stepped up in challenging circumstances when exams were cancelled. They have worked tirelessly and professionally to submit grades for their students, based on all the evidence available to them.

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GCSE Results 2020

We commend the students and staff who have supported them this year. They have shown great patience throughout the challenges of lockdown and last week's shambolic uncertainty. 

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Bigger changes needed for 2021

The Joint General Secretaries of the National Education Union have written to Gavin Williamson the Education Secretary, setting out why the disastrous handling of this year’s exam results must never happen again.

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A level grades in Wales

NEU Cymru wishes many congratulations to those who have secured expected grades and we trust that the adjustment and appeals processes will be robust enough to deal with all anomalies that may have arisen.

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A-level results 2020

The politics of results season 2020 has drowned out the most important point - that students must be congratulated for their hard work and patience through a difficult time for the whole nation.

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EPI school funding analysis

This EPI report hows that the Government is increasing that gap, not closing it, through the way it is distributing its 2020 funding increase, with bigger increases going to those schools with fewer disadvantaged students.

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Teacher Training

NEU is calling on Government to follow the example of Scotland by centrally employing newly qualified teachers from this September, so that the needs of schools are met and talent is not wasted.

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Proposed teachers' pay award

NEU Cymru's evidence to the Independent Welsh Pay Review Body (IWPRB) asked for a 7% pay award for all teachers, and sadly this does not fully do that. We will continue to argue for this.

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Ofqual Summer Symposium

Results from this year's extraordinary exams process are broadly comparable to previous years’ results, and the majority of students will not be disadvantaged by this year's process.

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School funding 2020

NEU welcomes Government announcement of additional school funding. But it is important to be clear that this funding does not even replace the budget cuts made since this Government.

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Coronavirus: Investment in education

NEU Cymru welcomes an increase to the workforce. We believe that supply staff and those new to the profession will welcome the opportunity to provide extra support for those pupils who need it at this challenging time.

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School Buildings

NEU's welcomes the Government’s commitment to maintaining school buildings. There are currently 3,731 school buildings in urgent need of immediate repair.

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Curriculum and anti-racism letter

NEU Cymru have written to the Minister for Education, Welsh Government to express deep concerns about the injustices and racial disparities that have been highlighted by the virus and by the horrific events of brutality against black people in the United States.

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Coronavirus: Schools in September

The Prime Minister's hopes are not enough. He needs a plan for more teachers, to ask teachers who have left the profession to return, and he needs to be finding extra spaces in which they can teach smaller groups.

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Coronavirus - NFER on Remote Learning

The NFER report shows that a quarter of pupils have limited access to IT at home. Gavin Williamson confirmed in the Commons last week that only around half of requests for the Government’s free laptop scheme for disadvantaged students have so far been met.

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Coronavirus: Primary Schools

The government’s social distancing rules made it impossible for primary schools to admit all pupils before the summer holidays. Primary schools and secondary schools will not re-open to all pupils until September at the earliest.

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SAGE advice published

Today, two months since lockdown was introduced, the Government has finally granted access to some of the scientific modelling behind its proposal for schools to open more widely from June 1.

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The science on schools

It's really important that we are absolutely clear what the level of safety is and if it remains the case that we believe it to be unsafe, we will not back the wider opening of schools.