Boris Johnson has refused to rule out different year groups of pupils returning to English schools in a staggered process, as the prime minister argued that any reopening from lockdown should be “cautious but irreversible”.
Speaking to reporters on a visit to a coronavirus vaccination centre in south-east London, Johnson said that while the process of fully reopening schools in England would begin on 8 March, it remained to be seen how fast this would happen.
“No decisions have been taken on that sort of detail yet,” he said when asked whether secondary pupils could return later than primary pupils. “Though clearly schools on 8 March has for a long time been a priority of the government and of families up and down the country.”
Asked about his words, Johnson’s spokesperson echoed the cautious approach, saying only that it was “our intention to start getting kids back to school from 8 March”.