All primary schools in London will now close for the start of the new term after the government U-turned on its decision to keep some open despite rising Covid cases.
The government bowed to protests, legal pressure and scientific advice on New Year’s Day after it initially omitted a number of boroughs from the forced closures.
All primary schools in London will now close for the start of the new term after the government U-turned on its decision to keep some open despite rising Covid cases
But the list did not include areas where Covid rates are high such as Haringey whose leaders said they would defy the government and support schools that decided to close.
The leaders of Camden, Islington, Greenwich, Haringey, Harrow, Hackney and Lewisham boroughs, and the City of London, said in a letter to Education Secretary Gavin Williamson: ‘We ask in the strongest terms that your recommendation is urgently reviewed and our primary schools are added to the list of those advised to move learning online.’
The action prompted an emergency Cabinet Office meeting today where they decided to abandon the original plans and order the remaining area to close their primary schools, The Guardian reported.
Sadiq Khan responded to the news, saying: ‘This is the right decision – and I want to thank education minister Nick Gibb for our constructive conversations over the past two days.’
The previous decision had left many baffled, with schools ordered to remain open just yards away from other schools forced to close.
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.
Gavin Williamson had released a list of primary schools in coronavirus ‘hotspots’ that would stay shut
‘There is no clear rationale for why some schools are being closed and others are not and why primaries and special schools are being treated differently to secondaries.’
Scientific advisers had warned that more school closures are necessary to control rising infections.
The Government’s Sage committee said it was ‘highly unlikely’ the pandemic could be managed effectively if schools were free to open next week.
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk