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The coronavirus and school closures

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Today’s Education in the Media blog looks at the Government’s response to reports of possible school closures due to Coronavirus.

a school road sign in the forefront, trees in the backgroudn, the leaves with a yellow tinge suggesting early onset signs of autumn

School closure predictions in the media

Today, Thursday 12 March, the Department for Education has issued a statement in response to multiple reports of potential school closures.

The Mirror reported this morning that teachers have been told to prepare ‘home-learning’ packs as Coronavirus is expected to cause a month-long Easter break. The same story has since been picked up by multiple other outlets.

Our position on closures is clear: schools should remain open unless advised otherwise by Public Health England. No decision to the contrary has been made.

A Government Spokesperson said:

As the Chief Medical Officer has said, the impact of closing schools on both children’s education and on the workforce will be substantial, but the benefit to public health may not be.

Decisions on future advice to schools will be taken based on the latest and best scientific evidence, which at this stage suggests children are a lower risk group.

The advice from Public Health England continues to be for schools to remain open, unless advised otherwise.

The Department continues to update schools on its response to Coronavirus on a daily basis including the option of a designated helpline for teachers, leaders and parents.

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