Split classes, outdoor lessons: what Denmark can teach England about reopening schools after Covid-19
Danish transition out of lockdown has become the model for Boris Johnson’s government as it tries to convince teachers to return
In the week leading up to the reopening of Denmark’s schools a month ago, Dorte Lange spent a lot of time on Skype. The vice-president of the Danish Union of Teachers was responsible for detailed negotiations with the education minister, the health authorities and other teaching unions. The aim was to make sure that everyone was happy with the safety measures put in place to ensure an orderly return of younger pupils to classrooms on 15 April.
“As unions, we were taken so much into account and we were consulted so much that we felt quite safe about this,” Lange says. “We said to our members that we think that we can actually trust the authorities and that it will be OK to go back.”
The Danish transition from lockdown to a reopening of schools has become the go-to model for Boris Johnson’s government as it seeks to coax teachers and unions into going back to work from next month.