SCHOOLS in England will reopen in a "phased manner," Education Secretary Gavin Williamson told the Education Select Committee today.

The Conservative MP did not give a date on which children would be allowed to return but suggested that different age groups would be allowed back at different times.

Mr Williamson said: "I do expect schools to be opened in a phased manner. I also intend to be giving schools as much notice as possible."

All schools were closed on March 18 to stop the spread of coronavirus, with many arguing this action should have been taken sooner to mitigate the deadly disease.

The Argus:

Days later, the UK was put into lockdown with shops, pubs, restaurants and bars forced to close their doors and people urged to stay at home whenever possible.

Thousands of parents across the country have been home-schooling their children as a result.

Some parents may now have to wait longer than others for their children to return to school with Mr Williamson saying that "all schools returning on day one with a full complement of pupils would not be realistic".

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But he also expressed his desire for schools to reopen as soon as was safely possible to limit disruption to children's learning.

He said parents would be given "proper notice" on when this might be, allowing them time to prepare.

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