The Government's detailed plan for getting all of our children back to school




It is a national priority to get all pupils back into school in September, as nothing will have a greater effect on the life chances of children and nothing is more important for the future of our country

Good morning everyone,

Writing in the Mail on Sunday yesterday, the Prime Minister said it is a national priority to get all pupils back into school in September, as nothing will have a greater effect on the life chances of children and nothing is more important for the future of our country.

  • The education of our children is crucial for their welfare, their health and for their future. That is why it is a national priority to get all pupils back into school in September.
  • In March, we had no option but to close schools as part of our efforts to protect the NHS and save lives. Parents and families have done brilliantly in supporting children to learn at home supported by teachers providing remote learning, thousands of laptops and tablets and the creation of Oak National Academy, which developed an entire online curriculum in a matter of weeks.
  • Thanks to the sacrifices made by the British people to control the virus, and now that we know enough to reopen schools safely, we have a moral duty to do so.  Time spent out of class has a lasting effect on future life chances, with children’s mental and physical health impacted the longer they are out of school.
  • We will continue to be guided by the best scientific and medical advice. The latest research – one of the largest studies on the coronavirus in schools in the world – makes it clear there is little evidence that the virus is transmitted at school. We have a detailed plan for getting all of our children back to school in a way that is safe for them and their teachers. This includes grouping children into bubbles, staggering drop-off times, regular handwashing and providing schools and colleges with a number of home testing kits.
  • Talent is uniformly distributed but opportunity is not, and the first step to changing that is by helping those who have fallen behind to catch-up. So we are investing £1 billion in catch-up support, including a new £350 million National Tutoring Programme. We have announced £14 billion extra for schools and a new 10-year school building programme, as part of the Government’s mission to build back better.
  • Keeping our schools closed a moment longer than absolutely necessary is socially intolerable, economically unsustainable and morally indefensible. Now we must all work together to re-open schools to all pupils in September.
  • Meanwhile Labour refuse to take a stance and back our plans to get kids back to school in September. It’s time for Sir Keir Starmer to came off the fence and work with us to ensure the life chances of a generation of schoolchildren – particularly the most disadvantaged – are not lost to coronavirus.

Today, we are announcing a new package of support worth up to £172 million to double the number of nursing apprentices and help to deliver our manifesto commitment of 50,000 more nurses by the end of this Parliament. 

  • Interest in health careers has surged, with the number of people looking for information on nursing on the NHS careers website rising by 138 per cent between March and June.
  • We are making nursing careers in England more accessible through a new package worth up to £172 million, which will enable healthcare employers to take on up to 2,000 nursing degree apprentices every year over the next 4 years.  NHS and other healthcare employers will receive £8,300 per placement per year for both new and existing apprenticeships.
  • Nursing apprenticeships allow students to earn as they learn and this new funding will enable healthcare employers to hire thousands more, helping us to deliver 50,000 more nurses by the end of this Parliament.

The Home Secretary has appointed a new Small Boats Commander to lead our response to tackling illegal attempts to reach the UK, helping to make the Channel route unviable. 

  • The number of illegal small boat crossings is unacceptable. We are working to make this route unviable and arresting the criminals facilitating these crossings and making sure they are brought to justice.
  • The new Clandestine Channel Threat Commander will have the primary responsibility of making the Channel route unviable for small boat crossings, which will include implementing our two-fold plan – stopping migrants from leaving France in the first place and then, if they do, intercepting and returning them.
  • Crossing the channel to come to the UK illegally is not only dangerous and unacceptable, it is wholly unnecessary as France is a safe country. We will continue to take all necessary steps to secure our borders.

Government action to tackle the coronavirus pandemic:

We are protecting the NHS so it is there for people when they need it… 

  • From just 2,000 tests per day in March we now have the capacity to conduct over 318,000 tests per day – with a testing capacity of 338,413 on 2 August.
  • Daily deaths down from a peak of 945 on 14 April to 8 on 9 August 2020.
  • Ventilators up from 9,000 in March 2020 to over 30,000.
  • Number of ventilator beds occupied down from a peak of 3,301 on 12 April 2020 to 67 on 7 August.
  • Over 2.7 billion items of PPE delivered since the start of the outbreak to 58,000 health and care settings.
  • Our testing rate is now among the best in the world, equivalent to 1 test for every 5 people in the country – outpacing countries like Germany, Spain, Italy and the USA.
  • 7 Nightingale hospitals created.
  • Hospital admissions down from 3,432 on 1 April 2020 to 142 on 29 July.
  • Over 2 million testing kits delivered to almost 9000 care homes.  
  • 99 per cent of GPs able to offer video consultations – up from 3 per cent before the crisis.
  • Backing two of the world’s leading coronavirus vaccine programmes – right here in the UK.
  • First country to discover a proven therapy with dexamethasone.

We are taking unprecedented action to support jobs and livelihoods across the UK with around £160 billion of support…

  • Jobs retention scheme has been used by over 1.2 million employers to protect 9.6 million people’s jobs at a value of £33.8 billion.
  • Self-employed income support scheme has been used by over 2.7 million to the value of £7.8 billion.
  • Our safety net is working – we’re putting an extra £9 billion into the welfare system, ensuring an extra 2.4 million people getting the help they need through Universal Credit (since 12 March),
  • 58,595 loans have now gone out through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme for SMEs providing over £13.08 billion worth of finance.
  • 482 loans have been approved for the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme for large firms providing £3.27 billion worth of financing.
  • 1,135,575 Bounce Back Loans have been approved worth £34.34 billion.
  • Over 879,700 firms have benefitted from £10.79 billion of business grants through the Small Business Grant Fund and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund.
  • Almost £10 billion of business rates relief has been provided for firms affected by COVID-19 – taken with existing measures around 1.1 million properties will pay no business rates in 2020-21.
  • Over 496,000 VAT payments deferred by businesses to the value of £27.5 billion.
  • £32.9 billion of additional funding at the Summer Economic Update to support schemes like the Job Retention Bonus and Eat Out to Help Out schemes (for which over 73,000 firms have registered).
  • And we’re supporting local authorities with £4.6 million emergency funding, £300 million to support Test and Trace, and billions of pounds in easements to help cash flow.

We are supporting those who need it most… 

  • We made sure over 1.6 million children were still able to attend educational settings – including over 500,000 children of critical workers.
  • Over £320 million worth of free school meal vouchers have been redeemed.
  • Over 3.7 million food boxes have been distributed to those who are shielded.
  • 15,000 people have been housed in emergency accommodation.  
  • Around 600,000 NHS Volunteer Responders have had their ID verified and can now receive tasks.
  • Over 500,000 tasks have been completed by NHS volunteers and over 90,000 people have been supported.
  • Helped to repatriate 38,000 people by charter and 1.3 million via commercial routes.
  • Contributed over £1.6 billion to GAVI, the vaccine alliance.
  • Contributed over £750 million the international effort to fight coronavirus.