The PM said pupils in reception, Year 1 and Year 6 will be the first to go back from the start of next month as part of a staged process. The PM said the key new programme would be up and running by June 1.
Boris added: “I have great confidence that by June 1, we will have a system that will help us very greatly to defeat current crisis and move the country forward. “It will be in place by June 1.”
Mr Johnson told the nation: ‘In step two – at the earliest by June 1 – after half term – we believe we may be in a position to begin the phased reopening of shops and to get primary pupils back into schools, in stages, beginning with reception, Year 1 and Year 6.
‘Our ambition is that secondary pupils facing exams next year will get at least some time with their teachers before the holidays.
‘And we will shortly be setting out detailed guidance on how to make it work in schools and shops and on transport.’
Nurseries would also be covered in the initial phase and the hope is that all primary school children would return to class by the summer.
Secondary school students who have exams next year will be given time with teachers before the summer holidays but most will not be back
The Prime Minister’s plan also caused alarm in the country’s largest teaching union, with its leader branding it ‘reckless’.
School unions are threatening to sabotage Boris Johnson’s plans to reopen schools from June 1 with teachers’ leaders slamming the proposal as ‘reckless’.
Teaching unions criticised his plans – with one raising concerns about how younger children can be manged to keep distancing from each other. If schools are re-opened it could have worst outcome.
Wales has flatly dismissed the PM’s proposals and Nicola Sturgeon has suggested there is little prospect of them returning in Scotland until August.
Under pressure from Labour, the PM told the Commons that the programme would be in place in time for the step of relaxation rules.
Cabinet ministers are desperate to allow non-essential shops to reopen from Monday June 1, as well as the return of some primary school classes, to help restart the economy.
Ministers want to roll out the contact tracing service first to build public confidence in the human system before moving on to the tech tool.