Boris Johnson has been urged to close all schools in January after the discovery of the new coronavirus variant.
Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove has said he is “confident” a staggered return to secondary schools in England can go ahead next month.
Mr Gove said the government’s plan is for primary schools to go back from next week however only secondary school children in Year 11 and Year 13 will return.
What did Michael Gove say about schools going back in January?
Speaking to Sky News: “Our plan is that primary schools will go back but with secondary schools it will be the case that next week only children in Year 11 and Year 13 – those who are doing their GCSEs, their BTECs, their A-levels – those will go back.
“And also children of key workers and children who are vulnerable and need the support and care that schools that can provide.
“Other children in secondary schools won’t go back for a week after that.”
He added: “We always keep things under review.”
Meanwhile, speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Mr Gove addressed concerns about the new strain.
We are confident that we will be able to get schools back in good order.
He said: “We have a new strain and it is also the case that we have also had, albeit in a very limited way, Christmas mixing, so we do have to remain vigilant.
“We are confident that we will be able to get schools back in good order.
What have Brits said about schools opening in January?
“Our plan and our timetable is there, and we are working with teachers to deliver it.”
Despite the government feeling confident in their plans, some Twitter users have urged Prime Minister Boris Johnson to rethink schools opening.
One person said: “@BorisJohnson @michaelgove @GavinWilliamson For the love of God, PLEASE close the schools for the sake of our children and teachers. #CloseTheSchools.”
— VirginiaLWilliams (@VirginiaLW) December 28, 2020
Another wrote: “#CloseTheSchools close the schools now #boris before it’s too late.”
A third added: “@BorisJohnson @GavinWilliamson @MattHancock @CMO_England Stop risking our children’s lives.
“Schools must not reopen in January, remote education until Easter while the vaccine gets rolled out.”
— Rebekah Flowers (@beccflowers) December 28, 2020
@BorisJohnson @GavinWilliamson @MattHancock @CMO_England Stop risking our children’s lives. Schools must not reopen in January, remote education until Easter while the vaccine gets rolled out. #CloseTheSchools #SchoolsAreNotSafe #newvariantcovid #keepingchildrensafeineducation https://t.co/MH4Tbk5ng4
— Concerned of North Yorkshire #SafeEd4All (@Poppykins4ever) December 27, 2020
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