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Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 7:05 pm on 11th March 2020.

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Photo of Matthew Hancock Matthew Hancock Secretary of State for Health and Social Care 7:05 pm, 11th March 2020

The hon. Member sets out one of the many reasons why there are downsides to closing schools. There are significant downsides, especially because of the knock-on consequences it has on the number of staff available for critical public services, including the NHS and social care. There are many considerations we have to take into account if we close schools, and that is why we have no plans for a mass closure of schools. Of course, individual schools will sometimes be advised to be closed, but because one of the saving graces of this virus is that it does not have a big impact on children, there are fewer benefits to closing schools, and she sets out one of the downsides.