The majority of secondary school pupils will not attend classes before September at the earliest.
Under plans set out by Boris Johnson, June 1 has been earmarked as the earliest possible date for the return of pupils in nurseries plus reception classes, Year one and Year six.
Remaining primary school year groups could be added at later dates.
But the only secondary school pupils likely to attend school in any form before September are pupils in Years 10 and 12, who will be able to have some face-to-face time with teachers to support their home learning.
Government officials said the remaining secondary school age pupils in England would not be expected to return to school before the summer holidays.
Schools have been closed to all but the children of key workers since the UK coronavirus lockdown began on March 23.
But one headteacher expressed concerns about how social distancing could be managed, particularly with younger children.
Bryony Baynes, headteacher of Kempsey Primary School, told the PA news agency: "I'm slightly flabbergasted.
"I understand that we need to begin the sense of returning to normality, and I understand that a big part of returning to normal is getting the school back up and going.
"However, how on earth are we to manage social distancing between reception and year one pupils when most of them are aged four and five?
"Boris has made a very general statement tonight and then he's gone off and all of my parents will now be clamouring for details.
"I don't know how to manage that and I don't know how to manage getting the reception class into school and keeping them safe."