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Commenting on the Prime Minister’s announcement that schools in England will not start to open more widely to pupils until at least 8 March at the earliest, Dr Patrick Roach, General Secretary of the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union, said:

“It is essential that the national lockdown restrictions are supported fully in order to reduce the rates of virus transmission in the wider community and in order to ensure that schools can reopen fully as soon as it is safe to do so whilst minimising the risks to public health.

“It is important that the majority of children and young people in all schools are now supported to stay at home and that teachers also work from home to provide support for children’s learning remotely.

“The Government must deliver urgently extra support to families during the lockdown, many of whom are experiencing very serious financial difficulties at this time.

“Given previous experience, the announcement of arbitrary dates for schools to reopen to all pupils can be profoundly unhelpful to parents and to those working in schools. However, a clear plan for how schools will be fully reopened whenever the lockdown restrictions are lifted remains a key question which the Government must now work urgently and openly with the profession to address.”

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