Boris Johnson has announced a possible school reopening date

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has told MPs it will not be possible to reopen schools “immediately after the February half term”.

Wednesday, 27th January 2021, 2:03 pm
Updated Wednesday, 27th January 2021, 2:06 pm

But he went on to say that he hoped it would be safe to begin the reopening of England’s schools from March 8.

The Prime Minister told the Commons: “If we achieve our target of vaccinating everyone in the four most vulnerable groups with their first dose by February 15, and every passing day sees more progress towards that goal, then those groups (will) have developed immunity from the virus about three-weeks later, that is by March 8.

“We hope it will therefore be safe to begin the reopening of schools from Monday, March 8.

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves Downing Street for PMQ's on January 27

“With other economic and social restrictions being removed thereafter as and when the data permits… then or thereafter I should say.”

In the meantine, the Mr Johnson said children eligible for food parcels or vouchers will receive these until they return to school.

He said: “As we are extending the period of remote learning beyond the middle of February I can confirm that the Government will prolong arrangements for providing free school meals with those eligible children not in school including food parcels and the national voucher scheme until they have returned to school.”

Mr Johnson also said a “programme of catch-up” would be put in place for pupils as well as summer schools.

He added: “We will provide a programme of catch-up over the next financial year and this will involve a further £300 million of new money for schools for tutoring.

“And we will work in collaboration with the education sector to develop specific initiatives for summer schools and the Covid premium to support catch-up.”

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