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Preston City Council leader says all primary schools should remain closed

Posted on - 3rd January, 2021 - 4:36pm | Author - | Posted in - Education, Politics, Preston Council, Preston News, Schools
Councillor Matthew Brown
Councillor Matthew Brown

The leader of Preston City Council has said all primary schools should remain closed after the Christmas holidays.

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Councillor Matthew Brown, the Labour leader of Preston Council, has shared his support for primary schools which are not re-opening on Monday (4 January).

Lancashire County Council, which has responsibility for schools in the county, has urged primary schools to stay open but also said it was an ‘individual decision’ to be made by each headteacher.

Three primary schools in Preston, that Blog Preston is aware of, have so far decided to remain closed for two weeks from Monday 4 January citing ‘safety reasons’ and pressure from unions over staff refusing to attend the workplace – switching to remote teaching instead – these are in Ribbleton, Fishwick and Lea.

Cllr Brown said: “Schools are unsafe to reopen as coronavirus is spreading out of control nationally.

“Myself and a number of Lancashire district leaders are backing Azhair Ali (Labour group leader on Lancashire County Council) and the National Education Union’s position that Lancashire primary schools remain closed until they can reopen safely.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson appeared on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show during Sunday morning to urge parents to send their children to primary school and said it was ‘safe’ for primary schools to re-open.

Director of public health and wellbeing for Lancashire, Dr Sakthi Karunanithi, said: “Although infection rates are on the rise in Lancashire, we are not in the same situation as London and the South East of England where the new variant has really taken hold. That means that we can and should encourage schools to stay open where they can. Clearly this is a fast-moving situation and must be kept under constant review, both locally and by government.”

See the latest coronavirus cases and information near you

Secondary schools are moving to a staggered return, with exam-year pupils back on Monday 11 January with all pupils then due to back from Monday 18 January.

Read more: See the latest Preston news and headlines

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