Boris Johnson Confirms Schools Won't Open Until At Least March As Lockdown Continues
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The Prime Minister has confirmed that schools definitely won't re-open until March, weeks after the upcoming half term.
While the exact date schools will re-open remains in doubt, Boris Johnson has said that the 8th March will be the earliest we could expect to see kids going back to the classroom across the country, as Covid-19 lockdown continues.
Speaking in the House of Commons on Wednesday, he said: "It will not be possible to reopen schools immediately after February half term".
The PM added that he understood the news would be "frustrating" for parents, children and teachers up and down the country, explaining that their concerns were also being felt by the government.
He added he is hoping that once the government reaches its target of vaccinating the four top vulnerable groups by the middle of February, "it will therefore be safe" to begin opening schools again.
Boris set out Monday 8th March as the date they were aiming for, should this be met.
Discussing the setback, the PM said that the government is going to prolong the provision of free school meals families who need them, and are still learning remotely.
This means the food parcels and national voucher scheme currently running across the country will continue for the time being.
The government is also to offer kids the chance to catch up on learning over the next financial year, he said, putting £300m into a fund to help provide tutoring to those who need it.
Plus, the government will be working on summer holiday schemes to assist with catchup, too, while also coming up with a long-term plan, which will run over the next few years.
"Our goal now must be to buy the extra weeks we need to immunise the vulnerable and get this virus under control," he added.
The PM finished by saying he expected further restrictions to be lifted after schools have gone back in March - slowly, and if data allows.