Schools Closed from 23rd of March
The decision to close schools, as you can imagine, was not a decision taken lightly but based on the best medical and scientific advice given to the Government.
I have personally spoken with most, if not all, of the Headteachers of schools within Burnley and Padiham who understand that whilst this is an extreme measure, it is a necessary step in protecting our children from catching and then spreading this virus further.
Children of Key Workers
Whilst schools are closed for the foreseeable, it is important to remember that they will still be open to children of key workers within the area in order to allow those in the most critical roles to continue with the vital work of helping those impacted by COVID-19. These measures are crucial to make sure the critical parts of the economy and public services keep functioning as we suppress the upward trend of the virus. Schools have therefore been asked to make necessary provisions to facilitate this.
For key worker information please see the following link https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision
I am also acutely aware of our most vulnerable children and am pleased that schools will still be ensuring that those children eligible for free school meals will still receive either meals or vouchers.
Whilst it is an inconvenience, nurseries and private schools are also being asked to follow suit in the interests of safety.
We are approaching the exam season but I want to be clear that exams will not take place as planned in May and June. I am committed to making sure that pupils get the qualifications they need and deserve and further updates will follow.
As a final note although it only exacerbates the situation for those who need childcare I cannot stress enough how important it is that children are not cared for by grandparents in these times. They are part of the high-risk group and so must be protected.