Return to face-to-face teaching in secondary schools to be staggered

This story was published 31 December 2020

Following the Government’s announcement on Wednesday, December 30, all primary schools will be open from the first day of term week commencing January 4. However, the start of the school term for secondary and college students has been staggered.

A child holding a pencil

Secondary schools will welcome back vulnerable children and the children of key workers to face-to-face teaching from the week beginning January 4 and this includes students attending special schools, or Pupil Referral Services. Children in exam years 11 and 13 who do not fall into this group will be prioritised for remote learning during this week.

From 11 January all pupils in exam years – Years 11 and 13 - will also return to school with other children receiving remote learning. From January 18 all children will return to school. 

Secondary schools and colleges in North Yorkshire will have the option of setting up coronavirus testing, providing free covid-19 tests to staff and students during the new term. The provision of coronavirus testing in secondary schools is optional and down to individual schools on whether they take part.

The Government also announced on Wednesday, that primary school teachers will have coronavirus testing made available to them later in January.

Since the Government’s announcements that the return to school in January would be staggered, the County Council’s Children and Young People’s Services have been planning how best to support schools with an initial webinar to take place with all secondary and special schools on January 4, which will cover the latest Government announcements on coronavirus testing and the staggered return.

The above plans may be subject to change, dependent on government review.

Corporate Director of Children and Young People’s Services, Stuart Carlton, said: “North Yorkshire’s schools have had arrangements in place for several months to allow teaching to take place online. This was put in place as part of their response to the pandemic and this will be used for those affected secondary school and college year groups from the start of term, until face-to-face teaching can resume.

“North Yorkshire’s schools and children’s services are working hard to minimise disruption to pupils’ education and to take care of their mental and emotional wellbeing throughout this time.

“Some secondary schools and colleges will be offering staff and students coronavirus testing during the new term, which will build on the extensive measures already in place to ensure schools remain safe places to be.”

Summary:

  • Week beginning January 4 - Secondary schools will be open to children of critical workers and vulnerable students. Remote education will be prioritised for Years 11 and 13. Most schools have an inset day on January 4, making Tuesday, January 5 the first day of term.
  • January 11 - Secondary schools will be open to exam year groups, Years 11 and 13, as well as children of critical workers and vulnerable students.
  • January 18 - Face-to-face teaching begins for all students in secondary schools.

Primary schools will return as usual at the start of the school term, on January 4, or January 5 for those with inset days.