Schools Reopening in March 2021: The facts

Topics: Education Insights
Michael McVerry
Michael McVerry Managing Director 25 February 2021

The government has revealed its new plans to ease lockdown restrictions, reopen schools and get pupils back to face-to-face learning from March 2021.

Here at Buzz Education, we’ve been watching the news closely to keep you in the loop with all the latest updates. From key school reopening dates to the initial return to school plans, and Covid safety measures, we’ve collated all the most important information that’s relevant to you and your business.

This is so you can make informed business decisions and plan your marketing accordingly to get the best engagement rates. 

Return to school

From Monday 8th March 2021:

  • All schools and further education settings will reopen to all pupils.
  • Individual schools can plan how certain year groups go back to school throughout the week.
  • Breakfast and after-school clubs will also reopen.
  • Outdoor after-school sports activities will be allowed.

Mass testing

  • Secondary school pupils will be required to complete 3 Covid-19 tests in school and 1 at home. 
  • From then on, parents will be provided with home test kits to carry out twice-weekly testing at home. 
  • Schools will continue to provide some testing facilities for those children whose parents might not be able to carry out testing.
  • Primary school staff will continue to carry out twice-weekly testing at home.
  • Secondary school and college staff will also carry out twice-weekly testing at home.

Safety measures

Secondary school pupils will be required to wear face coverings indoors, including classrooms, where social distancing of 2 metres cannot be maintained.

Catch-up plans

Secondary schools will be asked to provide summer schools to help pupils catch up on lost learning. A combined fund of £720m will be available to support schools and pupils with catch-up lessons, tuition, and activities. Primary schools will also receive extra funding to support pupils. 

Return to school

  • Pre-school, nursery and pupils in P1, P2 and P3 will return to classrooms on Monday 8th March.
  • These groups will then return to remote learning on Monday 22nd March to enable the return of pupils in years 12 to 14 until the start of the Easter holidays.
  • Pupils in years 4 to 7 in primary and years 8 to 11 in post-primary will continue with remote learning until after the Easter break at the earliest.

Mass testing

  • All primary school staff will be offered voluntary twice-weekly Covid-19 home tests. 
  • All secondary school and college staff will be offered voluntary on-campus Covid-19 tests.

Return to school

  • All children in P1, P2 and P3 and those at pre-school returned to school on Monday 22nd February.
  • Secondary school pupils who need to complete coursework returned to school on Monday 22nd February. 
  • All other age groups will continue to learn from home until no earlier than Monday 15th March.

Mass testing

Covid-19 at-home testing kits will be provided to senior phase pupils, teachers, and school staff once they return. 

Safety measures

Secondary pupils will have to maintain a 2 metre distance in school buildings.

Return to school

  • Children aged 3 to 7 returned to school as part of a phased return on Monday 22nd February.
  • If Covid case rates continue to fall, other primary pupils and years 11 and 13, are due to return on Monday 15th March. 
  • The decision on when other secondary school pupils can return will be made before the Easter holidays, with the new term due to start on Monday 12th April.

Mass testing

  • Pupils in years 11 and 13, and those in further education settings, will be tested twice a week. 
  • Education staff will be tested twice a week.

What this all means for your business

As schools start to open their doors to the wider pupil population, we encourage you to develop your marketing plan to reflect this return to school. 

  • If your business has been supporting those learning and teaching from home, continue to do so as homeschooling will continue for the time being for some year groups.
  • If your business has been supporting teachers who have had to juggle remote teaching with face-to-face teaching, continue to do so as they’ll be doing the same for the foreseeable future.
  • If your business has been supporting those learning and teaching in school, continue to do so as they’ll need your support more than ever.
  • If your business can excel now more students are returning to school, plan a marketing campaign that lets teachers and decision makers know who you are.

Whatever you need help with, our friendly team of education experts are ready and waiting to guide you in any way they can.

Call us today on 01257 460036 or email us at