London Mayor Sadiq Khan has confirmed the closures will take place, just two days after the Government said only those in 22 of London’s 32 boroughs would be affected. On Wednesday, the education minister, Gavin Williamson, outlined a plan to delay the reopening of secondary schools, but open most primary schools for children under 11 years old on time next week at the end of Christmas break.
Only in the hardest hit parts of the country, which included some parts of the capital but not others, were primary schools slated to shut.
But local authorities in several areas where schools were due to reopen complained.
Mr Khan said on Twitter: “The Government have finally seen sense and u-turned.
“All primary schools across London will be treated the same.
“This is the right decision – and I want to thank education minister Nick Gibb for our constructive conversations over the past two days.”
Paul Whiteman, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, said: “Just at the moment when we need some decisive leadership, the government is at sixes and sevens.
“There is no clear rationale for why some schools are being closed and others are not and why primaries and special schools are being treated differently to secondaries.
“The government appears to be following neither the science nor the advice of education professionals on how best to preserve the quality of education for young people.
READ MORE: School closure PANIC: Government website has THREE different versions
Children’s Minister Roderic O’Gorman has said that creches and childminders can continue to operate as planned from Monday January 4.
The decision came following a consultation between the minister and the early learning and childcare sector on Thursday, a statement for the department said.
It continued: “The reintroduction of full Level 5 Covid-19 restrictions was previously announced by Government on 30 December.
“Under these restrictions and in line with the Plan for Living with Covid-19, it was announced that early learning and childcare services and schools will continue to operate in Level 5 and are deemed essential, with early learning and childcare services reopening after the Christmas break as usual and schools reopening at a slightly later date of 11 January.”