Coronavirus: Retired teachers 'could be called back to help struggling schools as lockdown is eased'

Year 6 pupils from Landywood Primary School study maths in a socially distanced classroom in Staffordshire (Picture: Getty)

Retired teachers could be called back to help struggling schools during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Downing Street did not rule out the possibility that ex-teachers could be asked to return as schools begin to open

The prime minister’s official spokesman said education secretary Gavin Williamson had promised to do “whatever we can to make sure that no child falls behind as a result of coronavirus”, in response to suggestions former educators may be called upon.

Teacher Dawn Burrows gets ready for a maths class with her Year 6 pupils from Landywood Primary School (Picture: Getty)

The No 10 spokesman added: “We have already committed over £100 million to support children to learn at home and pupil premium funding continues to be paid at the highest-ever rate to help schools to support disadvantaged pupils.

“We are working to bring all children back in September and are considering what more is needed to support pupils.”

He said: “We have also said that we are looking at what further support we can provide over the summer.”

The spokesman also did not rule out the possibility buildings could be requisitioned to form makeshift classrooms.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said during PMQs on Wednesday that parents had “lost confidence” in the government’s schools plan and millions of children could miss six months’ worth of education.

After Boris Johnson claimed he had tried to reach consensus with Sir Keir over the issue, the opposition leader said the pair have not spoken one-on-one about his idea for a “national task force” to find a way forward.

Johnson later accused Sir Keir of being unsure over whether schools are not safe enough or should be reopened quicker and encouraged him to speak to “his friends in the left-wing trade unions” to help get schools ready.

The government has been forced to admit defeat over its desire for all primary pupils in England to attend classes before the summer break and is working to bring back as many pupils as possible in September.

Children in nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 in England began returning to primary school last week but some schools argued they do not have enough space on-site to admit all eligible pupils.

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