It seems increasingly likely that our schools in Lytham St.Anne’s will remained closed until after Easter, following reports that Gavin Williamson, the Education Secretary, will within days rule out the full reopening of schools after the February half-term break. It is thought the next target for reopening will be after the Easter holiday. A government source told the Sunday Times, ‘We are in this for the long haul. We are going to start giving parents more information so they can start managing their expectations. Although we have not arrived at an exact date when we think schools will go back, it will not be after half-term.’
This morning Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, told Sky’s Sophie Ridge on Sunday that while he hoped schools in England could reopen by Easter, it would depend on the levels of infection in the community at that time.
Matt Hancock also implied that teachers could be moved up the priority list of vaccines. He told Sky News, ‘Teachers have got a good shout to be very high on the list and those discussions are going on.’
However, England’s Children’s Commissioner, Anne Longfield, said primary schools must begin to re-open after half-term or children in deprived areas will fall even further behind their peers.
Meanwhile, a poll in the Mail on Sunday found 40 per cent of people believe their mood and state of mind have declined since the start of the pandemic, and 33 per cent of parents say the mental health of their children has worsened. The comes after the Lancet reported that more than a quarter of children (aged 5–16 years) and young people (aged 17–22) reported disrupted sleep and one in ten (5·4% of children and 13·8% of young people) often or always felt lonely. Children also reported feeling fearful of leaving their home because of COVID-19.