Image of children wearing masks at school

What to expect when schools reopen?

Published on 26 August 2020

While most things changed in 2020, the end of the summer once again saw students preparing to go back to school.

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While most things have changed in 2020, the end of the summer will once again see students preparing to go back to school. But this year’s return to school will be unlike any that has come before; for many students, it will have been more than five months since they last attended school in person.

Reopening schools has been contentious, but the Department for Education in England – partly motivated by research showing the challenges from home learning and the growing inequalities it has brought – has signalled its determination for all students to return come September. This will be a decisive shift from a period in which schools were open for some year groups, some of the time, with some families choosing to attend while others stayed home.

This week we are joined by Angela Donkin, Chief Social Scientist at the National Foundation For Educational Research (NFER) and Sarah Cattan, Associate Director at IFS in the Education and Skills sector.