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Ministers want to open schools ‘at the earliest possible opportunity’ but the pressure on the NHS must first start to ease.

Education secretary Gavin Williamson said one of the ‘key criteria’ for reopening schools would be looking at the NHS.

‘My real focus is making sure that children get back into school at the earliest possible opportunity,’ he told Sky News.

‘Schools were the last to close and schools will very much be the first to reopen.”

He said he intended to give schools a ‘clear two-week notice period’ before they reopened.

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