Boris Johnson says pupils will have to catch up with summer school - but social distancing is already an issue

Friday, 12th June 2020, 11:18 am
Updated Friday, 12th June 2020, 11:18 am
Boris Johnson has pledged a "massive" summer school catch up operation (Getty Images)
Boris Johnson has pledged a "massive" summer school catch up operation (Getty Images)

Pupils in England will have the chance to catch up on missed education over Summer.

The announcement from Boris Johnson came as the government u-turned on its goal to have all pupils back at school before the Summer holidays.

Details on the "massive catch-up operation" are to be detailed by Education Secretary Gavin Williamson next week.

Speaking at his daily press briefing on Wednesday the Prime Minister said the government want to: “be in position where we have got the remainder of primary back for a couple of weeks before the summer holidays, we wanted to do that.”

Catch up will run beyond Summer

The proposed catch up is to run beyond the Summer in order to make up for lost time.

Mr Johnson underlined the aim to make sure children don't fall behind with studies, saying: "kids get the remedial help they need for the stuff they’ve missed for months and months to come to genuinely make up for lost time”.

The aim, according to the Prime Minister, is to engineer an “educational catch up and economic bounce back at the same time”.

The government had previously aimed to get pupils back t school before SUmmer, but Mr Johnson claimed that the disease wouldn't allow such a move at his stage.

He said he “fully intends to get all pupils back by September if the science and battle against the disease allows it”.

Schools flouting social distancing rules

Following the Prime Minister's comments it has been found that some primary schools are already flouting social distancing rules.

Some primary schools have ignored the Government's safety guidance and operated larger class sizes since reopening to more children, a survey suggests.

More than one in five (22%) support staff say primary schools have run classes of more than 15 pupils, according to a poll by Unison - who say "corners have been cut" amid rushed Government reopening plans.

The Department for Education (DfE) guidance - on reopening primary schools in England to more children - says primary school classes should be split into classes of no more than 15 pupils per group, and these small "consistent" groups should be kept from mixing with other pupils during the day.

A Unison survey, of more than 8,000 support staff in schools in England, suggests that nearly half (48%) are not reassured by their experience of working with increased pupil numbers after the first week of wider opening.