Mirror Online: LONDON, England – Children may not return to school until after the Easter holidays and could face many more months of homeschooling, it is reported.
Gavin Williamson is not expected to put an exact date on when schools will reopen, but education leaders said they did not expect them to fully reopen until mid April or May.
A government source told the Times: “We are in this for the long haul. We are going to start giving parents more information so they can start managing their expectations.
“Although we have not arrived at an exact date when we think schools will go back, it will not be after half-term.”
But some headteachers have drawn up a plan to get the country’s entire teaching staff vaccinated against coronavirus so pupils can get back to school in weeks.
The blueprint would get the whole educational team – including support staff, dinner ladies and caretakers – the jab over the February half term, the Mail on Sunday reports.
Under the ambitious plan, 150 independent schools and state academies would become vaccination hubs.
There, medically trained staff would vaccinate school staff for 16 hours each day.
The proposal has been drawn up by two academy chains – a private school group and the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference, which represents almost 300 independent schools, including Eton and Harrow.
And the plan would come at no cost to the government.
Ministers have not yet responded to their blueprint.
It comes as the PM faces growing calls to put teachers at the front of the queue for jabs.
Gavin Williamson earlier said he hoped schools in England can fully reopen to pupils before Easter.
Mr Williamson said that he wanted to get pupils back in the classroom at the “earliest possible opportunity”.
“I would certainly hope that that would be certainly before Easter,” he told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.
Mr Williamson said that a key criteria in determining when schools could reopen would be whether the pressures on the NHS had eased sufficiently.
He said the Government aimed to give schools a “clear two-week notice period” so that they were able to prepare properly to welcome pupils back.
Downing Street said the Prime Minister wanted schools to reopen as quickly as possible but refused to be drawn on whether it would be before Easter.
“If we can open them up before Easter then we obviously will do but that is determined by the latest scientific evidence and data,” the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said.
Primary and secondary schools were ordered to close their doors to all but vulnerable children and the children of key workers when England went into a third national lockdown at the beginning of January.
Boris Johnson warned that most pupils would have to continue with remote learning until after the mid-February half-term break.
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