PM has 'misgivings' about closing primaries in March

Boris Johnson insists that schools are safe, adding that 'it's so important for young people to get an education'
4th January 2021, 12:30pm
Amy Gibbons

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PM has 'misgivings' about closing primaries in March

https://www.tes.com/magazine/archived/pm-has-misgivings-about-closing-primaries-march
Coronavirus: Boris Johnson Says He Has 'misgivings' About Closing Primary Schools In The First Wave Of The Pandemic Last March

The prime minister has said that he looks back on primary school closures in the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic with "the greatest misgivings".

Speaking during a visit to Chase Farm Hospital in North London to meet some of the first people to receive the Oxford vaccine on Monday, Mr Johnson insisted that schools were safe, adding that "it's so important for young people to get an education".

"It's very important to understand that back in March, one of the things I look back on with the greatest misgivings was the closure of primary schools because it's so important for young people to get an education", he said.


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"That's why closing primary schools is, for all of us, a last resort. That's why we are looking at everything else we can possibly do to avoid that.

Coronavirus: Closing primary schools 'is a last resort'

"I would stress schools are safe and the risk to kids is very, very small."

Mr Johnson added that the risk to teachers was no greater than to anyone else and the argument for keeping schools open was very powerful.

"The risk to teachers - and, of course, we will do everything we can to protect teachers - but the risk to teachers is no greater than it is to anyone else.

"The reasons for wanting to keep schools open I think are very, very powerful."

The prime minister is also reported as saying that secondary schools play more of a role in the spread of the disease than primaries.

"We will have to look very hard at what we'll do with them later in the month," he said, according to Sky News' deputy political editor Sam Coates.

Boris Johnson pool interview 2
- Admits "misgivings" closing primary schools last March
- Says secondary schools play more of a role in spreading and "we will have to look very hard at what we'll do with them later in the month" ? pic.twitter.com/FyMdJPNfup

- Sam Coates Sky (@SamCoatesSky) January 4, 2021

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