Responses to re-opening of schools, early June 2020Date: 24.06.2020
An overview of the findings from our survey of 3000 teachers at the end of the first week of primary schools re-opening to certain year groups during the Covid pandemic.
60% of primary schools opened to more children in the first week of June. Only half of these were fully open, Monday to Friday; around one in five are open for a limited number of days and the remainder are offering a range of alternative scheduling.
In these re-opened primary schools, just under half of Y6 pupils were back in school - ie 30% of the expected cohort, with only 25% of the early years cohort attending.
A quarter of primary teachers still weren’t back in school in the first week of June, while a third were in school but working fewer hours than normal. 16% were working more hours than normal: the median number of hours worked last week in primary schools was 40.
Only 10% of re-opened primary schools are operating a test, track and isolate system for all pupils (this was one of the ‘essentials’ for re-opening from an earlier survey), while a further 15% are routinely testing for symptoms, such as taking temperature.
At least three quarters of schools have implemented:
- Limiting class size (typically to 15)
- Safe distancing (85% using 2m, 15% using 1m)
- Scheduled handwashing
- Limitations on sharing resources
- Frequent cleaning of surfaces
- Keeping just one teacher (as far as possible) with one group of children for the whole day
- ‘Bubbles’ of children (typically 13 max) taking break, lunch and arriving/departing together
48% of primary staff feel that these measures are keeping children safe, (10% think they aren’t) and 37% feel they are keeping staff safe – though almost a quarter think they aren’t keeping staff safe.
School staff are less happy than they were in May, with many expressing high levels of anxiety. 75% of primary teachers in re-opened schools expressed anxiety, while 85% across all phases expressed this.
Independent schools are taking fewer of the above safety measures and have been open for longer, but staff in these schools rate their personal wellbeing higher than those in other school types.