Students will attend schools only with the written consent of parents and there will be flexibility in attendance, say guidelines issued today by the government for the reopening of schools. The SOPs were released by the Department of School Education and Literacy. In its Unlock5 announcement, the Home Ministry had said states and Union Territories can decide when to reopen schools and coaching centres. The SOPs say physical distancing must be maintained at schools and students and teachers must wear face masks at all times. Schools will be required to make a “comprehensive academic calendar” for the whole year focusing on the learning outcomes, following the alternative calendar prepared by the NCERT. Schools must also ensure “smooth transition” from home-based schooling to formal schooling, the guidelines said. The Education Department has also asked States and Union Territories to develop their own SOP based on the centre’s guidelines.