Lockdown: How long will schools be closed? Will exams go ahead this summer?

  • Click above for a report by ITV Meridian reporter Christine Alsford

Schools in England have closed today (5th) in response to the new lockdown restrictions announced by the Prime Minister on Monday.

All pupils, except vulnerable children and those of key workers, will move to remote learning.

Special schools and nurseries will stay open.

How long will schools be closed?

Under the new lockdown restrictions, all schools in England have shut to most students until at least February 15th.

This was a U-turn of the government's plan for a staggered reopening of schools and colleges with mass testing.

On Monday, the Prime Minister Boris Johnson said schools needed to be closed as they "act as vectors for transmission".

He added: "The problem is not that schools are unsafe for children – children are still very unlikely to be severely affected by even the new variant of Covid."

GCSE and A Level exams will not be going ahead this Summer Credit: ITV Meridian

Will exams be going ahead?

GCSE and A Level exams due to go ahead this year look set to be cancelled.

BTEC exams scheduled to happen in the next few days will continue as planned.

It comes after Boris Johnson announced that it would not be "possible or fair" for exams to happen this summer.

The Prime Minister said "alternative arrangements" would be put in place and that Education Secretary Gavin Williamson will work with exams regulator Ofqual.

Prior to Monday's announcement, secondary school and college pupils taking exams had been expected to return on January 11th. Other year groups were due to return on January 18th.

The Collins family in East Sussex have five children over 4 different school year groups.

Despite admitting that homeschooling is "difficult",  Steve Collins said classrooms should be shut.

  • Steve Collins, Parent:

Unlike most educational establishments, nursery schools can stay open.

The public service union, Unison, today (5th) demanded all nursery schools should shut, following discussion about whether it's safe for them to remain open.

Cheryl Hadland is the Managing Director of Tops Day Nurseries, which has children's nurseries across Dorset, Wiltshire, Hampshire and Sussex.

She said: "We think it's in the best interest of the children to continue with their education in the professional environment that we can provide for them."

However, Cheryl Hadland added that the lack of coronavirus testing provided for staff at day nurseries "was a concern".

Cheryl Hadland, Managing Director, Tops Day Nurseries: