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‘Schools will only return if five tests are met’ says Education Secretary

Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson said in today’s (Saturday) press conference that ‘Schools will only return if five tests are met’.

When answering a question from the member of the public, Williamson said the government will look at the R rate in “great detail” and schools will only return if the five tests have been met.

At the start of today’s press conference, Williamson addressed the issues of schools and saying to pupils “I can only say how sorry I am that this has happened this year. The sacrifices that you have had to make.. has made things incredibly tough for all of you”

Addressing teachers, the Education secretary said “You have simply been outstanding and we are so grateful for what you have done”

In the Government’s step by step plan for the recovery from Coronavirus, it’s stated that Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 to be back in school around the start of June in smaller sizes,

It was also stated that Secondary schools and further education should prepare for some face to face contact with Year 10 & 12 pupils when talking about this today, Williamson said “it’s vital we do all we can to help them do well. It’s also important for vulnerable”

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson also confirmed there have been 468 deaths across all settings in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of people to have died in the UK after testing positive for Covid-19 to 34,466. New cases have increased by 3450.

In today’s Government slides, Dr Jenny Harries showed that the number of tests are at there highest point, 136,486 tests had been completed as of 9am this morning (Saturday)

The daily data also tells us that, the number of people in hospital with Covid-19 is 10,484, down from 11,872 this time last week. That’s an 11% decrease. Greater Manchester Mayor, Andy Burnham confirmed earlier this week that people in hospital in Manchester was decreasing.

The press conference concluded with a question on children being able to take their own lunch boxes to school but not their own pencil cases. Dr Harries says pencil boxes were “easier to control” and clean cases could be provided by schools.

“The issue about lunchboxes is they are quite personal to the child eating the lunch,” she said.

“I can almost guarantee that one child won’t want to eat the lunch of another, hopefully, sat two metres in distance from them. When you are eating, you are also putting your hands to your mouth and your face.”

(Photo credit: 10 Downing Street)

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