Should Southport schools have staggered return times after Christmas?

Birkdale Primary School

The reopening of secondary schools and colleges in Southport after Christmas will not be delayed – but will be staggered, the government has said.

Those studying for exams are expected to return as normal in January, but most pupils will start the year online, to allow mass testing to be rolled out at the start of term.

Primary school pupils will go back to school as normal in January, alongside vulnerable pupils and key workers’ children.ad size : 374 x 26
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This week Sefton Central MP Bill Esterson pressed Leader of the House Jacob Rees-Mogg to explain to parents, children and staff what the arrangements were for returning to school in January.

This followed remarks by the senior civil servant at the Department for Education who said that the arrangements had not been communicated by ministers.

Mr Esterson asked for the Secretary of State for Education to make a statement to clear up the “confusion”.ad size : 374 x 26
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Department for Education Permanent Secretary Susan Acland-Hood told the Public Accounts Committee on Thursday (December 17) that there were no plans to lengthen the Christmas school holiday, but when pressed by the chair Meg Hillier MP to confirm that pupils would be returning as planned in the first week of January, Ms Acland-Hood said: “There are conversations going on about how exactly parents and pupils will go back at the beginning of January but I’m afraid I can’t speak to the committee about that.” Ms Acland-Hood also said that the arrangements had “not been communicated by ministers”.