Hundreds of primary schools keep their gates SHUT


England’s faculties system is in meltdown immediately after faculties ignored Boris Johnson’s plea to remain open leaving thousands and thousands of fogeys to start homeschooling their kids for not less than a fortnight with typically only some hours’ discover.

Many headteachers ordered to remain open have determined to close their gates anyway this morning regardless of the Prime Minister’s insistence that ‘faculties are secure’.

Dad and mom took to social media this morning describing their anxiousness at making an attempt to care for his or her kids at residence on the Eleventh hour whereas making an attempt to carry down a full time job.

The choice will consign kids to ‘sub-standard’ on-line studying consultants say can ‘set again’ kids years, particularly these from working class households. 

All faculties in London are closed immediately together with nearly all of Covid-19 hotspots in Essex, Kent, East Sussex, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire after a Division for Training diktat final week. 

However headteachers advised to stay open in areas resembling in Surrey, Gloucestershire, Newcastle, Norfolk, Liverpool, County Durham, West Sussex, Sheffield, Wolverhampton, Leeds and Lancashire have shut down anyway.

The Prime Minister advised households yesterday that kids ought to return to highschool in all areas the place they have been on account of open immediately and tomorrow. However as Covid-19 charges soar, educating unions mentioned {that a} ‘snowball impact’ was shutting scores of colleges regardless of the official recommendation to remain open.

Mr Johnson said yesterday that he had 'no doubt' that classrooms were safe

Mr Johnson mentioned yesterday that he had ‘little doubt’ that lecture rooms have been secure

Rachel Allen, 40, is a single mother to Lewis, seven, (pictured together) and runs a social media consultancy from her Tier 4 home in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire. She says: 'As a self-employed single parent trying to maintain a business that was decimated at the start of lockdown, school is a lifeline for me'

Ella Brucher, 35, a self-employed cleaner, has two children, Scarlet, six, and Dominic, ten, (pictured together) in Purley which is in Tier 4. Ms Brucher said: 'After not being able to work at all for three months earlier in the year, it's very difficult – and more than that, it's hard for the children, too. They want to be back at school.'

Rachel Allen, 40, is a single mom to Lewis, seven, (pictured collectively) and runs a social media consultancy from her Tier 4 residence in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire. She says: ‘As a self-employed single mum or dad making an attempt to keep up a enterprise that was decimated in the beginning of lockdown, faculty is a lifeline for me’

Yesterday council leaders in Cumbria, Brighton, Kent, Birmingham and Wolverhampton all formally requested permission for faculties of their space to remain shut.

Whereas it waits to listen to again from Training Secretary Gavin Williamson, Brighton and Hove Metropolis Council has suggested all major heads to close their faculties, aside from for weak kids and people of key employees, and to maneuver studying on-line.

In Southampton the town council warned that some faculties ‘should not have sufficient employees to reopen safely to all kids’, whereas Slough Borough Council in Berkshire mentioned some primaries would keep closed amid ‘confusion throughout the board’ brought on by the Division for Training.

Labour MP says sorry to minister over jab ‘queue-jumping’ declare

A Labour shadow well being spokesman has issued a grovelling apology for falsely suggesting the vaccine minister had jumped the queue to get a jab.

Rosena Allin-Khan admitted it had been ‘inappropriate and mistaken’ to share unverified claims about Nadhim Zahawi.

The Labour frontbencher had posted on Twitter that she had heard ‘rumours’ the Tory minister and his household had been vaccinated in Wandsworth, south-west London. However after it transpired the hearsay was unfaithful, Dr Allin-Khan was reprimanded by the Labour Celebration, ordered to take away her claims and advised to apologise. She tweeted: ‘I’ve deleted my earlier tweets which have been inappropriate and mistaken. I remorse sharing unsubstantiated claims in regards to the minister and I apologise to him and his household.’

Mr Zahawi, who’s overseeing the vaccine rollout, then replied: ‘Thanks for apologising. The accusation was not true. It’s unhappy you selected to behave like this, all of us have to work collectively to beat this terrible illness.’

Councils in Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle upon Tyne all pledged to help heads who wanted to shut their faculties, whereas Preston Metropolis Council’s chief mentioned primaries ought to stay closed ’till they will reopen safely’.

Norfolk County Council additionally mentioned it will help heads who wanted to maintain their faculties shut.

The chaos has left hundreds of fogeys dealing with a scramble to seek out care for his or her kids.

It has worrying parallels with the primary schooling shutdown in March, which was solely introduced by the Authorities after many faculties had already closed of their very own accord. Secondary faculty pupils in examination years are already on account of return every week later than deliberate, from January 11, whereas different years are scheduled to return from January 18.

And all London primaries have been ordered to remain shut for the primary two weeks of the January time period after a U-turn on Friday.

The Authorities’s listing of areas the place primaries will keep shut additionally contains elements of Essex, Kent, East Sussex, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire.

Now practically a 3rd of the nation – some 17million individuals – live in areas the place primaries have been advised to shut by the Authorities, or the place councils have mentioned they may again heads who resolve to shut their gates. Regardless of the unfolding chaos, Mr Johnson mentioned yesterday that he had ‘little doubt’ that lecture rooms have been secure. He advised the BBC’s Andrew Marr Present: ‘Faculties are secure. It is vitally, crucial to emphasize that.

‘The chance to children, to younger individuals is absolutely very, very small certainly. The chance to employees may be very small.’

He added: ‘I perceive individuals’s frustrations, I perceive individuals’s anxieties however there isn’t any doubt in my thoughts that faculties are secure and that schooling is a precedence.’

Labour chief Sir Keir Starmer mentioned his plans have been inadequate and it was ‘inevitable’ many would keep closed immediately.

The unofficial closures got here after Britain’s largest educating union, the Nationwide Training Union, referred to as a web-based assembly attended by 400,000 academics and supporters the place they have been advised to ‘say no’ to reopenings.

Boris Johnson said schools that are due to be open will be safe for pupils and teachers due to the procedures in place

Boris Johnson mentioned faculties which are on account of be open might be secure for pupils and academics as a result of procedures in place

Kevin Courtney, its joint common secretary, advised academics who dialled in that they need to protest towards returning to highschool – and that this might result in a ‘snowball impact’. Inside hours, the message gave the impression to be having an impact.

By final night time, many faculties had made the choice to not open, regardless of being outdoors the Authorities’s ‘contingency framework’, which mandates closures, with some citing union recommendation. The Each day Mail has discovered of many faculties being pressured into Eleventh-hour choices within the face of employees shortages. For instance, Lea Group Main College, in Preston, mentioned that ‘on account of well being and security, a rising enhance in transmission and an infection charges… and following recommendation of unions’ it was unsafe for it to open.

And St Mary’s Catholic Main College, in Birmingham additionally mentioned ‘inadequate employees’ was the rationale behind its determination to shut. All courses can be taught by way of ‘stay’ classes delivered on-line as a substitute.

Bedford Main College, in Bootle, Merseyside, mentioned it will be shut to pupils, aside from these of key employees, for not less than every week ‘on account of diminished staffing ratios.’

Advice for pupils heading to school in Islington before it became one of the London boroughs to switch to home learning

Recommendation for pupils heading to highschool in Islington earlier than it grew to become one of many London boroughs to change to residence studying

Salford mayor Paul Dennett wrote to Mr Williamson final night time saying he wished face-to-face studying to be checked out once more. He mentioned he would ‘help any Salford faculty chief who assesses that it’s not secure to open their faculty’.

Writing within the Mail on Sunday, Mr Williamson gave no indication he was contemplating widening faculty closures. ‘The security of academics and pupils will all the time be paramount, however we should all transfer heaven and earth to get kids again to the classroom the place they greatest thrive,’ he wrote. 


Rachel Allen, 40, is a single mom to Lewis, seven, and runs a social media consultancy from her residence in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire. Her space is in Tier 4, with newest knowledge displaying a brand new case charge of 739 per 100,000 within the week to December 28. 

She says: ‘As a self-employed single mum or dad making an attempt to keep up a enterprise that was decimated in the beginning of lockdown, faculty is a lifeline for me. It provides me the house to focus on sustaining an revenue, whereas Lewis might be within the classroom with pals getting the schooling he wants.

‘I do not qualify for any help and I haven’t got any financial savings to fall again on so I’ve to maintain the enterprise working and match that round offering some sort of schooling for my son, who’s in Yr Three.

‘As the primary lockdown began… my present enterprise was nearly annihilated in a single day. Fortunately I used to be in a position to maintain on, however I should have dropped £10,000 this yr and to say that it has been a tough slog can be an understatement – there have been occasions the place I’ve felt like my head was in a stress cooker.

‘Regardless of that, we got here up with our routine: becoming my work round gaps to assist Lewis together with his work, after which I picked up an NHS contract which meant I used to be a key employee and he might return to highschool in June. However now it is again to residence faculty.

‘I am very lucky that Lewis’s dad lives close by and may be very useful and concerned. When the colleges closed final time, we took it in turns taking Lewis and we’ll do the identical once more this time, however each he and his companion work full-time too.

‘Fortunately, Lewis may be very adaptable and takes every little thing in his stride, however I do fear about how all this can affect him long run. Clearly I do not need my son’s schooling to endure, however I’ve to arrange myself for the truth that it in all probability will.

‘As a single mum or dad, and a self-employed one at that, we’re resilient – I merely should knuckle down and get on with it.’


Ella Brucher, 35, a self-employed cleaner, has two kids, Scarlet, six, and Dominic, ten, together with her husband, Nicholas, 40, an organization director. They stay in Purley, close to Croydon in south London, which is in Tier 4 and has a case charge of 835.5 per 100,000 residents:

‘Having taken break day for the Christmas holidays, I used to be anticipating to return to work this week. However Wednesday night’s announcement has modified all that.

‘After not with the ability to work in any respect for 3 months earlier within the yr, it’s extremely troublesome – and greater than that, it is exhausting for the kids, too.

‘They wish to be again in school, they miss with the ability to socialise – and with not with the ability to meet pals outdoors of college, the classroom was the one place they bought that necessary interplay.

‘My son performs pc video games and talks with pals over headphones, he has his classes, he’s wise and might work on his personal, however he is lacking interplay with the trainer that he can solely get in school, and that is his final yr of major faculty.

‘It is very exhausting for my little woman, she has missed half of Yr One and refused to do any residence studying – and now right here we’re once more.

‘I believe the affect of this might be felt for years to return.

‘As for me, I might have been working for 5 days, however now I will have to suit as a lot as I can into two days in order that I might be there to take care of the kids and help them with their schoolwork.

‘I must let a few of my shoppers down. I am simply grateful that those that have kids and are in the identical place will perceive.

‘My husband has been in a position to hold working from residence, however he has to enter work one to 2 days every week, so we merely don’t have any selection.

‘I simply hope that in two weeks they may be capable of return.’

Will exams be scrapped AGAIN this summer time? 

Boris Johnson has refused to rule out cancelling exams this summer time after headteachers referred to as for them to scrapped.

The Prime Minister has come underneath stress to axe GCSEs and A-Ranges as a result of so many kids have missed out on education because the pandemic started.

Secondary faculties have been ordered to shut for the primary two weeks of time period to suppress Covid – notably the brand new, faster-spreading variant – and there are fears the shutdown might final till February.

Headteachers have warned of big inequality within the system, with some pupils left to face the summer time exams much less ready than others. Requested yesterday on The Andrew Marr Present on BBC1 whether or not exams needs to be cancelled, the Prime Minister declined to rule the thought out, including: ‘We have got to be real looking in regards to the tempo at which this new variant has unfold, we have got to be real looking in regards to the affect it is having on our NHS, and we have got to be humble within the face of this virus.’

No exams came about final summer time, with GSCE and A-level grades based mostly on trainer assessments.

Training Secretary Gavin Williamson insists nationwide exams should go forward this summer time, regardless that Scotland and Wales have deserted them.

PM’s vow to chop ‘absurd’ pink tape thwarting vaccination volunteers 

The Prime Minister has ordered the elimination of ‘absurd’ pink tape pushing aside former well being employees from signing up as vaccination volunteers.

Well being chiefs are recruiting a military of helpers to ramp up vaccination ranges.

However retired medical doctors and nurses who utilized have been advised to provide 21 paperwork, together with proof they’d been on programs to fight racism and terrorism. In addition they needed to show they’d competence in hearth security, battle decision, human rights and knowledge safety.

They branded the system ‘ridiculous’ and ‘inconceivable’, whereas medical doctors’ leaders demanded a rethink.

Boris Johnson mentioned ministers deliberate to simplify the method, including: ‘It’s absurd. The Well being Secretary is taking steps to eliminate that pointless forms.’


However former schooling secretary Lord Baker advised The Sunday Occasions that academics needs to be allowed to grade their college students as a substitute.

He mentioned academics ought to keep in mind the variety of days missed, including: ‘They’re higher than algorithms and they’re the one individuals who can presumably assess the achievement of their college students on this extraordinary time.’

Greater than 2,000 headteachers from the marketing campaign group WorthLess? insist well being shouldn’t be put in danger merely to guard examination timetables. They added: ‘Wider public well being, pupil and employees security needs to be prioritised forward of examinations. Public security shouldn’t be risked or pushed by an rigid pursuit of GCSE and A-Ranges.’

One in every of its leaders, Jules White, head of Tanbridge Home College in Horsham, West Sussex, advised The Sunday Occasions there was ‘nice scepticism that exams can go forward pretty’.

Recommending trainer assessments for ultimate grades as a substitute, the group mentioned it will be extra unfair on pupils in areas hit tougher by the pandemic to go forward with exams.

However Anne Longfield, the Kids’s Commissioner for England, mentioned: ‘Most kids I discuss to need exams to proceed, however clearly they must be honest.’

An professional panel is because of report back to the Training Secretary with suggestion for making exams honest for youngsters throughout England.

There are issues about find out how to keep in mind the hidden disadvantages for youngsters whose entry to distant studying is poor.

Matt Hood, principal of Oak Nationwide Academy, which was commissioned by the Authorities to provide on-line classes, mentioned a million kids had been pressured to make use of their mother and father’ cell phones to review as a result of they didn’t personal a cellphone or laptop computer.

The Division for Training mentioned there was no plan to cancel exams.

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