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Schools: Coronavirus

Question for Department for Education

UIN 143925, tabled on 26 January 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of the factors that would determine the safe reopening of schools after covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased.

Answered on

3 February 2021

On Wednesday 27 January 2021, the Government confirmed that education attendance restrictions should continue post-half term meaning that vulnerable children and the children of critical workers can still attend school or college in person, but all other pupils will continue to learn remotely from home.

This follows my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister’s announcement on 4 January 2021 of national restrictions and that the position would be kept under review during January 2021.

Following an in-depth analysis of both the virus prevalence data and the data on NHS capacity, it has been concluded that school and college attendance must continue to be limited to help support the reduction in the overall number of social contacts in communities.

Education attendance restrictions are to be reviewed again in mid-February and will remain in place until 8 March 2021 at the earliest, and the Government has committed to publishing a plan for leaving lockdown by the end of February 2021.

Headteachers, teachers, and staff of schools, colleges and nurseries have been doing an extraordinary job under difficult circumstances. For those still attending school, the system of protective measures means that any risks are well managed and controlled.