All London primary schools to stay closed after Christmas break


"With the highest level of Covid infection and hospitals buckling under the tsunami of very ill patients, it is time for ministers to do their duty - to protect the NHS by following SAGE advice and close all primary and secondary schools to reduce the R rate below one".

Unions representing teachers and support staff have since called for delays to the reopening of schools across the country. It's also a victory for the 9 London boroughs fearless enough to stand up to the bullying & incompetence of government and challenge the Department of Education with the threat of legal action, as it is of course for the unions and campaign groups who've been saying schools are not safe for much longer.

Will the Government perform another U-turn? .

The NEU's joint general secretary Dr Mary Bousted said: "Whilst we are calling on the Government to take the right steps, as a responsible union we can not simply agree that the Government's wrong steps should be implemented".

Primary schools in England are only due to remain shut on Monday morning as the country deals with daily case numbers in excess of 50,000 in the last four days. "For in-person classes making the transition to remote learning, there will be more scheduled (asynchronous) learning at the start of the week to allow for necessary device allocation, and to allow for educator and school contact with families".

While our priority is to keep as many children as possible in school, we have to strike a balance between education and infection rates and pressures on the NHS, said UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

"The NASUWT remains of the view that schools, colleges and other settings should only remain open to all pupils where it is safe for them to do so".

Mr Di'Iasio said: "I think everyone in the country has known that there's going to be a surge and a peak, particularly in January".

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The opposition Labour Party leader Keir Starmer said Johnson must implement a national lockdown within the next 24 hours.

Lecce said that in order to ensure safety in schools this year, the government will continue enhanced testing at schools and "allocate a new and significant investment in school safety, including enhanced air quality, more PPE (personal protective equipment), and additional staffing and cleaning". Paul Whiteman, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, said: "Just at the moment when we need some decisive leadership, the government is at sixes and sevens".

This is up from the 17 schools which had been approved for the programme in October.

"Gavin Williamson's incompetent handling of the return of schools and colleges is creating huge stress for parents, pupils, and school and college staff and damaging children's education".

"As we've said, we will move to remote education as a last resort, with involvement of public health officials, in areas where infection and pressures on the NHS are highest", the spokesperson said.

Secondary schools will stay closed, as planned, until the middle of January.

The city leader said ministers have confirmed that a blanket approach will be taken to schools, having initially chosen to keep a select number closed after the Christmas holidays.