Kenneth Baker calls for reduced social-distancing rules for schools

An Education Plan for Re-Opening

Lord Kenneth Baker, Chair of Baker Dearing Educational Trust and former Education Secretary, calls for a reduction of the social-distancing requirement to allow schools to re-open.

1. There are 80 days between now and September and during that time schools should not be locked-up empty buildings: they should be learning centres. The schools that have opened already only have a small proportion of their students: action is needed. The Secretary of State should positively encourage schools to open from now. The levels of unemployment for 16 and 18 year olds this September are likely to be high, and could be even higher if schools are then still struggling to re-open.

2. The Secretary of State should ask the Prime Minister and the Cabinet for a special dispensation just for schools to reduce the social-distance requirement from 2 metres to 1 metre, as children are the least vulnerable to this virus.

3. All teachers and staff should be tested daily to ensure they are free of the virus.

4. The Covid-19 virus has made everyone much more aware of technical matters – virtual lessons are a revolution. Every student in the country should have access to a laptop – that is the position in University Technical Colleges. GCSE Computer Science should be a standard exam for all schools as we will not return to a low-skilled economy, but to a high-skilled digital economy.