Boris Johnson has said “there is no doubt in my mind that schools are safe” and advised parents to send their primary school-aged children in tomorrow despite rising COVID-19 cases.
As pressure mounted on the prime minister to keep all of England’s schools closed when the new term starts, Mr Johnson insisted education was a priority and parents in areas where schools are open should send children in.
“There is no doubt in my mind that schools are safe, and that education is a priority,” he told the BBC’s Andrew Marr.
“The benefits of education are so huge, overwhelmingly we want to keep our young people in education.”
The PM also warned of possible tougher restrictions ahead: “It may be that we need to do things in the next few weeks that may be tougher. I’m fully reconciled to that. I think the whole country is fully reconciled to that.”
Most primary schools in England are scheduled to open on Monday, followed by a staggered start for secondary schools a week later, with GCSE and A-level pupils set to return first.
However, the National Education Union (NEU) has said all primary schools should remain closed for at least two weeks following the Christmas break.
But giving advice to parents, Mr Johnson said: “Look at where your area is, overwhelmingly you will be in an area where schools are open.”