css-14iz86j-BoldText {font-weight: bold;} All schools in England should be closed for two weeks after the Christmas break due to a surge in the coronavirus, said the UK’s largest teachers’ union

The NEW call came after Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said all London primaries would be closed on Monday, not just those in some districts

The daily number of new Covid cases in the UK has risen to 50 over the past four days000 exceeded as the country is fighting for control css-yidnqd-InlineLink: link {color: # 3F3F42;} css-yidnqd-InlineLink: visited {color: # 696969;} css-yidnqd-InlineLink: Link, css-yidnqd- InlineLink: visited {font size: bolder; Bottom margin: 1px solid #BABABA; -webkit text decoration: none; Text decoration: none;} css-yidnqd-InlineLink: link: hover, css-yidnqd-InlineLink: visited: hover, css-yidnqd-InlineLink: link: focus, css-yidnqd-InlineLink: visited: focus {edge-floor-color : current color; Edge-Floor-Width: 2px; Color: # B80000;} @ supported (text underline offset: 025em) {css-yidnqd-InlineLink: link, css-yidnqd-InlineLink: visited {margin-bottom: none; -webkit text decoration: underline #BABABA; Text decoration: underline #BABABA; -webkit-text decoration-thickness: 1px; Text Decoration Thickness: 1px; -webkit-text-decoration-skip-ink: none; text-decoration-skip-ink: none; text-underline-offset: 025em;} css-yidnqd-InlineLink: link: hover, css-yidnqd-InlineLink: visited: hover, css-yidnqd-InlineLink: link: focus, css-yidnqd-InlineLink: visited: focus {- webkit-text-decoration-color: currentcolor; text-decoration-color: currentcolor; -webkit-text-decoration-thickness: 2px; text-decoration-thickness: 2px; Color: # B80000;}} a new highly infectious variant of the virus

Soaring cases have put the hospitals under extreme pressure, and the bosses warn that the next few weeks will be “excitingly difficult”

The President of the Royal College of Physicians, Prof Andrew Goddard told the BBC the new strain had now spread across the country, adding, “Any hospitals that haven’t had the great pressure they had in south-east, London and south Wales should expect it will find their way “

Dr Mary Bousted, joint leader of the National Education Union with more than 450000 members, called for the closure of all elementary and secondary schools, saying, “What is right for London is right for the rest of the country”

She told BBC Radio 4’s Today program: “We know the virus is up to 70% more contagious, and the only thing we do with children is we put them all together in high schools, in who we know children can really transmit”Year group bladders of up to 240 students without social distancing

“So it is not difficult to see why secondary school students are the highest age group for Covid infections and elementary schools the second highest”

Dr Bousted told BBC Breakfast that she hoped the closure of all schools would give time for a mass testing system to be set up, but requested that this be led by public health officials

“In secondary schools for 1000 students need about 21 volunteers to take these tests because teachers can’t and support staff can’t because they teach and support children’s learning “

Dr Mike Tildesley, a Warwick University epidemiologist who advises the government under the Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies (Sage), said that while there has been an increase in cases in secondary age groups, there was no clear evidence of transmission in the school setting

“Certainly the evidence in elementary school is that despite this new variant we are not getting a significant increase in cases in elementary school,” he said

Mr Williamson said in mid-December that all elementary school students in England would be returning as normal in January, while returns from secondary schools and colleges would be staggered to give them time to set up mass testing programs

But on Wednesday, Mr Williamson postponed the start of school for all secondary schools as well as some elementary schools in Covid hotspots in southeast England, including parts of London

Two days later, under pressure from local authorities, he extended the primary school closure to all of London

That means that more than a million elementary school students will study from home for at least the first two weeks of the semester

At-risk students and children of key workers will continue to attend school, the government said, adding that early years care, alternative care, and special education will remain open

Dave Lee-Allan, principal of Stowmarket High School in Suffolk, described the situation as “utterly chaotic” and said he would not reopen the school unless he thought it was fully prepared – and said , “It should be left up to you”the school principals on site to make the right call”

He added that it was frustrating that the government said “keeping children in school is a national priority and that we are key workers,” but teachers do not qualify for early vaccine access

Tom Prestwich, principal of the Jubilee Elementary School and Children’s Center in Tulse Hill, South London, found out his school would be closed on social media on Friday

He told BBC Breakfast that the school would need two staff rotas, one for online learning and one for the students who would have to come into the classroom

“All of this takes time and that decision could have been made two weeks ago,” he said

“This is another U-turn by the government that is wreaking havoc with parents two days before the semester starts,” said Kate Green, Labor shadow secretary

The NASUWT union, the 300th000 teachers and principals, said government disregarded scientific advice that nationwide school closings could be “essential in breaking the chain of coronavirus transmission”

Secretary General Dr Patrick Roach said elementary schools and parents in other areas subject to level four coronavirus restrictions would wonder why the government views the risks to their health as “less significant” than in London and the South East

The National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) urged the government to move all schools to home study for a “short and determined period of time for most children”

When Greenwich Council in south-east London announced the closure of schools in mid-December, the Department of Education quickly took legal action to force the withdrawal

First, earlier this week it was agreed to close elementary schools and not just secondary schools in 50 areas in the south-east of England – although they say this should rarely happen

Education ministers claim it is epidemiology, not expediency, that has forced their hand – decisions are made in consultation with the Department of Health and Health Professionals

But for the past 48 hours, they’ve been listening rather than lecturing to London authorities – including Greenwich – calling for more schools to close.

The Ministry of Education is not planning any further school closings in Tier 4 areas, which cover 75% of the English population

Sources say other local authorities are not asking. However, if more councils are concerned about local transmission rates, pressure on ministers to send more children home could increase

Mr Williamson said the closings across London were a “last resort and temporary solution” to tackle the particularly high rates of infection in the capital and said the government would “reopen classrooms as soon as possible”

The Department of Education previously stated that decisions about school closings and openings are based on new infections, positivity rates and pressures on the NHS

According to data on the government’s coronavirus dashboard, London has the highest weekly coronavirus rate in England at 858, 5 confirmed cases per 100000 inhabitants – almost twice as many as in England as a whole

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said closing all London schools was “the right decision” but the original plan to keep only some London schools closed had caused immense confusion

53285 new Covid cases and a further 613 deaths were reported by the UK government on Friday.This does not include data from Northern Ireland or Wales or the number of deaths from Scotland as these are not published on certain days during the Christmas and New Years period

Secondary schools in England will postpone their return after Christmas Students taking exams in 2021 will now start on Nov. January, other age groups return on 18 Back in person on January 4th Most primary schools in England open on January 4th They will return on January 18, but in London and some surrounding areas they will not return until Jan. January will be open to most students

In Wales, local councils have been told they can be “flexible” when they open Teaching in person again on January 6th January fully open

In Northern Ireland, elementary school students through 11th January taught online In secondary schools, years 8 to 11 are taught online throughout January until 14 Class return to school after the first week of January

In Scotland, the Christmas holidays were extended to 11 Extended January and only online learning for the following week January planned

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Elementary Schools

World News – UK – Schools reopening: Call for closure if Covid cases emerge

Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-55511662