Government reverses decision and will close all primary schools in London
The government have reversed their decision on school openings and have now agreed that all primary schools should remain closed throughout London.
It was announced on December 30 that a number of primary schools in the majority of London boroughs would not physically open to pupils next week, other than for vulnerable children and those whose parents are key workers.
Haringey and several other boroughs were surprisingly not included on this list, even though infection rates were higher than many of the boroughs who were on the list, and the rate at which infections are rising is greater.
The overall case rate in Haringey for COVID-19 is 784.7 new cases per 100,000 population per 7 days (19th to 25th December) and is higher than the London average of 751.7 and 65% higher than Kensington & Chelsea’s rate of 475.9.
Nine London authorities including Haringey sent a joint letter to Education Secretary Gavin Williamson asking for their primary schools to close and the government have now agreed and changed their decision.
Haringey Leader Cllr Joseph Ejiofor and Cllr Kaushika Amin, Deputy Leader of the Council & Cabinet Member for Children, Education & Families, said:
“We welcome this decision by the government and it takes into account the best interests of schools and residents.
“The education and support that our primary schools provide to children in Haringey is fundamental to their lives. But when the Secretary of State took the decision to protect some communities from contracting and spreading Covid, he should have offered that same protection to all other communities that already had higher rates of infection.
“We and other London boroughs who were left off the original list have campaigned for this change. At Haringey we have also written to the government and pledged that we would support those of our schools that agreed to close during this difficult time.
“This is a wise u-turn which helps retain confidence that decisions are being guided by science and we can help to stop the spread of the Coronavirus together.
“We recognise that this will impact families across the borough, particularly at such short notice. We will be working closely with head teachers over the coming days and will ensure that families are kept up to date.”
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