Ties, blazers, hats and bags are to be left at home and parents have been told to refrain from ‘nattering’ at the gates as schools prepare to unlock their doors tomorrow.
The measures – which could include asking pupils to wear PE kit all day to avoid using the changing rooms – are designed to ensure a safe re-opening that does not place children at risk of infection from coronavirus.
The chief executive of the Independent Schools Association, Neil Roskilly, explained the changes had to be made as these uniform parts tend to be less frequently washed than shirts, trousers and skirts.
Despite the loss of time, a fifth of teachers are expected to remain at home tomorrow, according to a Tes survey, owing to health issues, age and family members.
Trade union leader Mary Bousted has already poured cold water over suggestions of cancelling the summer holiday, saying staff have been working ‘flat out’ to provide online lessons during lockdown.
The Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has sought to re-assure parents that ‘strict safety measures’ have been put in place ahead of the re-opening, and said it must take place because of the impact missed learning is having on children’s progress.
Boris Johnson has asked schools to return Reception, Year One and Year Six to their desks on Monday, with a view to getting Year 10 and 12 back at their desks by June 15.
There is also an ‘ambition’ to get all primary pupils back into schools by the end of June.
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have said their schools will not re-open this month.
Ties, Blazers and bags are expected to be dumped from school uniform on Monday.
Many schools have asked pupils to leave ties, blazers and bags at home when they re-open on Monday.
Pictured are pupils at Kempsey Primary School in Worcester
Chief executive of Independent Schools Association Neil Roskilly, left, said some parts of uniform may be banned because they are rarely cleaned.
Chief executive of the Independent Association of Prep Schools, Christopher King, said some children may be asked to wear PE kits in to school
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has sought to assure parents that their pupils will not be put at risk by returning to school.
He is pictured on Sky News
‘These old habits are difficult to break.’
And the chief executive of the Independent Association of Prep schools, Christopher King, said some schools are even asking kids to wear PE kits for lessons.
‘Many are fortunate to have a large site with playing fields and they are looking to incorporate some physical activity into the timetable every day,’ he said.
‘They are asking the pupils to come to school ready changed because changing rooms are problematic.’
Schools could also ask pupils to bring in packed lunches, rather than rely on the canteen, owing to the risks it is thought to pose.
Despite the lengthy closure, Mary Bousted, general secretary of the National Education Union, has warned that schools should not try to claw back lost time by cancelling the summer holidays as teachers have been working ‘flat out’.
Speaking to Sophy Ridge on Sunday from south London, Bousted said: ‘No.
The summer holiday shouldn’t be cancelled because teachers have been working flat out to provide education for children at home.’
She said schools should instead look to supply voluntary clubs and activities to children to help them re-engage with learning.
‘We don’t think the emphasis should be on catch up,’ she said, but they should aim to foster a ‘desire to learn again’.
Mary Bousted has said that despite the lost classroom time schools should not look to cancel the summer holiday.
She did say they could offer voluntary activities instead
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