SOME secondary school kids will get an extra week at home in January while mass testing is rolled out, Gavin Williamson will say today.
In effect the Christmas holidays will continue for millions of children, with older students told to study at home and online instead.
Primary school kids, key workers’ children, or key exam year kids will go back as usual on their first day back, HOAR understands.
And they will have a test when they go back to make sure they have not picked anything up from their Christmas bubbles.
Other kids in secondary schools will get an allotted time to go in that week and get a Covid test, but will not come in full time until the following week.
Online learning is expected for those kids instead.
The Education Secretary is set to give a full statement on the latest information this afternoon – before MPs break up for Christmas.
It comes after a huge row between schools in London and the Department for Eduation this week.
Schools in Greenwich, Islington and Waltham Forest wanted to close early over spiraling cases – but the DFE told them to remain open.
Greenwich council had previously written to school heads to dismiss classes at 133 schools a week early due to the rising number of Covid cases. Islington then followed suit, warning of surging cases.
But Mr Williamson threatened to get a High Court injunction to force them to U-turn if they refused to comply.
Parents and pupils were left confused, not knowing if they would have their final week of school in the chaos.
Downing Street defended the Government’s determination to keep state schools open despite rising coronavirus cases.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “We have been clear throughout on the importance of schools, both in terms of the learning that children require but also the development and mental health gains it brings by being able to attend school.
“We have been clear that it’s in the best interest for all children to attend.”
It comes after a Christmas crackdown to try and ensure Britain does not see a third wave of cases after the festive rules relaxation.
Yesterday Boris Johnson advised people in England to not travel to a lower Tier, avoid staying overnight and make their trips to see their bubbles shorter if possible.