COVID-19: English schools to remain open for children of NHS staff

Government says school closures will not extend to children of key workers on coronavirus front line

Schools in England will remain open for NHS staff and other key workers on the front line of the COVID-19 pandemic, prime minister Boris Johnson has announced.

Mr Johnson said schools across the country will close on Friday and remain closed until further notice. Earlier, the Welsh Government said all schools in Wales will close for an early Easter break by Friday at the latest, while in Scotland first Minister Nicola Sturgeon also announced that schools will close by the end of the week.

Stormont officials said schools are to close across Northern Ireland from Monday, with the potential to remain closed until summer.

Supporting NHS staff to care for the public

Speaking in the House of Commons, education secretary Gavin Williamson said that schools in England will remain open for children of key workers and vulnerable children.

Where schools are unable to look after these children, local authorities will work with the Department for Education’s regional teams to ensure an alternative option is available in the same area.

‘Some examples of these key workers include NHS staff, police and delivery drivers who need to be able to go to work; vulnerable children including those who have a social worker and those with educational health and care plans,’ he said.

‘Looking after these children will enable schools to support the country through this incredibly and extremely challenging time.’

To date, 104 people in the UK have died after testing positive for COVID-19.

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