The Education Secretary has announced that schools will close from Friday 19 March 2020 and they will remain closed until further notice, except for children of key workers and vulnerable children, as part of the country’s ongoing response to coronavirus. Primary assessments and exams will not go ahead.
Speaking in the House of Commons, James asked the Education Secretary, “Until now, the expert advice has been that a consequence of closing schools is that children may have to stay with their grandparents, who are the most vulnerable people. What is now the advice for parents? Should they take advantage of grandparents? If not, may I urge that the support package being considered by the Chancellor addresses this issue?“
In response, Rt Hon Gavin Williamson MP, Education Secretary, said: “We ask all parents to look at the advice given by Public Health England. Obviously, there are many grandparents who are very young and healthy, but we need parents to consider the individual circumstances of their family to make the best assessment. We need to protect those who are most vulnerable and, of course, the most vulnerable are those over the age of 70 and those with underlying health conditions.”
James has said that it is essential that key worker definitions cover all those vital to our response to Coronavirus and that pupils due to sit exams are given clarity about what the plans are.