Will millions of children really be returning to school in June?- podcast


Oliver de Botton is a headteacher of a large state school in Newham, east London. Like many teachers across the country, he is tackling the daunting task of getting ready for the return of some of his students in early June. Sally Weale, the Guardian education correspondent, looks at the backlash against this drive to return some year groups to school

The government has said it wants children in nursery and reception and years 1 and 6 to begin a phased return to schools from early June, with other years following soon after, so primary children are in school for a month before the summer holidays, as long as the government’s five tests for easing lockdown have been met. It could be the most significant step towards easing the lockdown so far – but it’s been hugely controversial.

Anushka Asthana talks to headteacher Oliver de Botton who runs a large primary and secondary school in Newham, east London. He tells her about trying to get his school ready for some of his students returning. Anushka also talks to Guardian education correspondent Sally Weale about why there has been such strong pushback from unions and some councils, who say they are still concerned about the safety of children and teachers returning to classrooms.

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