All schools in the Basildon borough and across the country will remain closed until at least 8 March, the Prime Minister has announced today.

This is a decision supported by the Leader of Basildon Council, Councillor Gavin Callaghan, who publicly called for schools to shut earlier for Christmas, and has since called for schools to remain shut to help prevent the spread of the virus in such a crucial time.

The Leader of Basildon Council, Councillor Gavin Callaghan, said: "Education is the topic I get the most questions about at the moment, so it's good to finally have clarity on this. Schools can now prepare for the provision of continuing remote learning, and parents can now prepare for home-schooling until at least 8 March.

"I've said before that no school in Basildon should reopen until all the critically vulnerable have been vaccinated and had their cooling off period. We need to reduce the interactions between the younger age groups to lower the risk of vulnerable people getting infected before they are protected against the virus.

"Learning from home isn't the ideal situation, but it's necessary in the period we are currently in with the virus. Hopefully by the time 8 March comes around, things will have progressed and students can return to the classroom.

"I am enormously grateful to all teachers for their hard work through such a testing time, and I believe they should be prioritised for vaccinations before schools return."

"I'm also grateful that the government hasn't forgotten about children who are receiving free school meals, that these children will still receive these important meals whilst remote learning continues."

ENDS

Published on Wednesday 27 January 2021