Thank you for writing to me about reopening schools.
Children's education is vital and whilst I believe it was right to strain every sinew to try and keep schools open, I think, in the circumstances, the Government made the right decision that schools in England had to stay closed for the time being for most pupils. I would like to thank teachers and all school staff who did everything in their power to make schools safe, and who are now continuing to support the education of our children as best they can, including supervised online learning for most pupils.
Like you, I want children to be able to return to school at the earliest opportunity. However, it is important that restrictions stay in place whilst case numbers of coronavirus and transmission rates are still high. The Prime Minister has confirmed that it will not be possible to reopen schools immediately after the February half term. However, if we continue to make progress in driving down case numbers and achieve the target of vaccinating everyone in the four most vulnerable groups with their first dose by 15th February, the Government has said that it may be possible to start reopening schools from Monday 8th March.
It will be important to give as much notice as possible when schools will be reopening, so I welcome that the Education Secretary has made clear that schools, pupils and parents will be given at least two weeks’ notice ahead of them reopening much more fully.
Please be assured that I will continue to monitor this situation very carefully and that I do want schools fully opened as soon as sensibly possible.
Thank you again for writing to me.
With best wishes.
Jonathan Lord MP
Member of Parliament for Woking