Education Secretary Gavin Williamson says Primary Schools will reopen on Monday 4th January in all but the ‘highest’ infection areas.
But Secondary Schools and Colleges will see students return by Monday 18th January.
Students in years 11 and 13 facing exams will return on January 11th, as had previously been planned for all pupils.
But the rest of pupils will have to wait until January 18th, to allow mass testing to be put into place.
Meanwhile, Primary schools in high infection areas will be shut beyond January 4th, although Mr Williamson said that will not apply to all Tier 4 areas.