All primary schools across London’s 32 boroughs will now remain closed at the start of term for most pupils, the Government has confirmed.
The Government had previously said that in London, only schools in 22 of the capital’s 32 boroughs would close, however, a u-turn on Friday has now changed this.
Primary school pupils that would usually attend school in London will instead have remote learning from Monday, however, vulnerable children and the children of key workers will still be allowed to attend school in person. Early years settings will remain open in London, as well as alternative provision and special schools.
Confirming the announcement, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said;
“Children’s education and wellbeing remains a national priority. Moving further parts of London to remote education really is a last resort and a temporary solution.”
“As infection rates rise across the country, and particularly in London, we must make this move to protect our country and the NHS.”
The list of local authorities where schools should stay closed is to be kept under review, according to the Government.
The u-turn follows calls from leaders of eight London boroughs and parents who questioned the rationale behind the decision to only close schools in some parts of the capital.
Following the announcement, the National Education Union welcomed the news in a Twitter statement but called on Gavin Williamson to delay all schools nationwide from reopening.
New list of areas where primary schools will remain closed
London: All 32 boroughs – Barking and Dagenham, Barnet, Bexley, Brent, Bromley, Camden, City of London, Croydon, Ealing, Enfield, Greenwich, Hackney, Hammersmith and Fulham, Haringey, Harrow, Havering, Hillingdon, Hounslow, Islington, Kensington and Chelsea, Kingston upon Thames, Lambeth, Lewisham, Merton, Newham, Redbridge, Richmond-Upon-Thames Southwark, Sutton, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest, Wandsworth, Westminster
Essex: Brentwood, Epping Forest, Castle Point, Basildon, Rochford, Harlow, Chelmsford, Braintree, Maldon, Southend on Sea, Thurrock
Kent: Dartford, Gravesham, Sevenoaks, Medway, Ashford, Maidstone, Tonbridge and Malling, Tunbridge Wells, Swale
East Sussex: Hastings, Rother
Buckinghamshire: Milton Keynes
Hertfordshire: Watford, Broxbourne, Hertsmere, Three Rivers