Coronavirus: Schools in the district making plans to stay open for vulnerable pupils and children of key workers

It has been announced today that schools in the UK will be closing on Friday.

It has been announced today that schools in the UK will be closing on Friday. - Credit: Archant

Schools across the UK will close from Friday until further notice.

The Astrea Trust, which runs Longsands, Ernulf and St Ivo academies, has told The Hunts Post, it is determined to “pull together” to minimise disruption.

A spokesperson for the trust said: “In line with the Government’s announcement on school closures, we can confirm that our schools will only continue to be open for children of key workers and vulnerable children. We will be in contact with parents to set out what this means in practice, including details on how we will continue to ensure our pupils continue to learn throughout the closure. These are extremely challenging times, but we are determined to pull together to ensure that we minimise the disruption and help support our community through this period of uncertainty.”

The announcement to close all schools was made on Wednesday afternoon.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “I want to provide parents, students and staff with the certainty they need.

“After schools shut their gates on Friday afternoon, they will remain closed until further notice.

“This will be for all children, except for those of key workers and children who are most vulnerable.

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“The scientific advice shows that the settings are safe for this small number of children attending, but asking others to stay will just go towards helping us slow the spread of this virus.”

Schools will include, St Peters School in Huntingdon, Longsands and Ernulf Academy in St Neots and Hinchingbrooke School in Huntingdon, and St Ivo in St Ives.

Yesterday, the headteacher at St Peters School in Huntingdon Christopher Bennet released a statement saying: “Due to increased teaching staff absence, I am unfortunately closing the school to years 7 and 8 with immediate effect. This step is required to ensure that we can deliver lessons to students in years 9 – 13. For those students in years 7 and 8 who receive a free school meal, a packed lunch will be available from reception if pre-ordered by 10.30am. Work has been set and will be continued to be set via ‘Teams’ in which students have now been trained.”

Mr Williamson said the government will put in place a national voucher system for children eligible for free school meals.

Matthew Fell, CBI chief UK policy director, said: “Difficult decisions are having to be made each day and people’s safety must always come first. The announcement on school closures feels necessary, but, of course, will present challenges for parents and carers.

“Businesses will do all they can to help their employees in these unprecedented times. Companies will make every effort to offer flexible working, but many parents simply won’t be able to do their jobs and care for their children at the same time. With so many businesses already struggling with cashflow, government will urgently need to step in with additional support to employees who are unable to work because of school closures.”

This story will be updated as we get more information.