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School closures UK: Are schools in the UK open this week? What is the latest advice? | UK | News

When children across the UK start going back to class this week, they will find more Covid rules in place than when they were separated over the Christmas holidays. Despite these measures, government ministers have been warned that they will not go far enough to prevent disruption to pupils’ learning in the new semester.

Are schools open this week?

Currently, schools in all four countries in the UK are expected to open their doors to students at the start of the spring semester.

Some students in England will return to education as early as Tuesday, while most children in the UK are expected to be back by Monday, January 10.

Every country in the UK has imposed its own measures to limit the spread of Covid in schools.

Read more: Surgeon admits ‘we don’t want to stop the spread of Omicron’ across the UK

In addition, the government has announced that it will provide 7,000 air purifier units in early years venues, schools and colleges. Although these units will not be delivered until next month.

What is the reaction to the new rules?

Regardless of the measures, school workers’ unions have criticized the government for being too slow to act and preventing an increase in case numbers in staff and students.

The National Education Consortium’s joint secretary general, Mary Bousted, specifically targeted the order for 7,000 purifiers, saying they would be “absolutely not enough” to provide clean air.

She said: “The fact that the government introduced additional scrubbers shows they are aware of the problem but with more than 300,000 classrooms in England they have failed to provide an effective solution.”

In fact, according to the latest government figures, there are more than 24,400 schools in England to split scrubbers between.

Meanwhile, the General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, Jeff Barton, stated that the biggest challenge facing schools remains the lack of staff.

He said, “While schools and colleges will do their best to minimize the impact on pupils, as they always do, there is a possibility that this means that some annual classes and groups will have to be sent home for short periods of time for distance learning.”

School-age children have been found to be among the age groups most likely to contract Covid, according to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

In December, more than one in 20 children of primary school age and one in 35 children of secondary school age tested positive for the virus.

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