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Close Schools/Colleges down for an appropriate amount of time amidst COVID19.

Submitted by Sami Attout on Thursday 5th March 2020

Published on Friday 6th March 2020

Current status: Closed

Closed: Sunday 6th September 2020

Signatures: 685,393

Relevant Departments

Tagged with

Covid-19 ~ Parliament ~ Schools

Petition Action

Close Schools/Colleges down for an appropriate amount of time amidst COVID19.

Petition Details

We would like the government to at least consider closing schools/colleges down in the coming weeks or as soon as possible, in addition to taking necessary actions to prevent further spread.

Additional Information

We would like the Government or Parliament to enforce this action due to the growing fear among parents and students that attend school. The ability to focus or concentrate is affected in addition to the growing fears of the Corona-virus. In our view, the government and health officials around the world are more 'reactive' rather than 'proactive'. This will result in more spread as time is given for the virus to do so. We hope to come to an agreement as soon as possible in a timely manner.

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Government Response

The Government responded to this petition on Monday 30th March 2020

Schools closed by the end of the day on Friday 20 March. Affecting schools, colleges, and early years settings in England, except for children of critical workers and the most vulnerable children.

The first aim of the school closure measures set out by the Secretary of State for Education is to reduce the number of children moving around local areas as far as possible, in order to further reduce the number of social interactions and thus flatten the upward curve of the Covid-19 outbreak.

The second aim is to continue to care for children whose parents are critical to the Covid-19 response, so that they can continue to work. This includes those who work in the health and social care sectors as well as those critical to continuing to provide essential services such as transport, food and delivery, utilities, communications and public safety.

In addition to this, schools will continue to care for the most vulnerable children. Vulnerable children include those who have a social worker and those with Education, Health and Care Plans – a legal document that describes a child’s special educational needs and the support they require.

Children who do not fall into these groups have been advised to stay at home with appropriate care to limit the spread of the virus, protect the NHS and save lives.

The DfE is working closely with colleagues across Government to ensure that all appropriate arrangements, and support, are in place for all DfE sectors – from early years and childcare to schools and children’s social care. The DfE is also in regular discussions with sector bodies and unions, and we will continue to work together on current and emerging issues. We will ensure students, parents and staff are kept up to date.

The advice from Public Health England is that it remains safe for small numbers of children and staff to attend schools, colleges and childcare settings. Decisions on future advice to schools will be taken based on the latest and best scientific evidence.

Department for Education.

Parliamentary Debate

This petition has reached the threshold for a Parliamentary debate, but the debate has not been held. The Petitions Committee gave the following explanation.

Because it has not been possible to debate this petition to date, and the request made by the petition was acted on by the Government and has been considered by the Committee in other ways, the Committee has agreed not schedule this petition for debate.

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