Covid-19: Educational Settings

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:22 pm on 6th January 2021.

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Photo of Tim Loughton Tim Loughton Conservative, East Worthing and Shoreham 1:22 pm, 6th January 2021

Ministers will know how bitterly disappointed I was when schools were so abruptly closed, because of the impact on mental health, the attainment gap and safeguarding. To give certainty and to enable schools to plan ahead, will the Secretary of State make the February half-term the default target date for return, barring any new crisis? And for those schools remaining open for key workers and vulnerable children, can we make sure that this time they are not turning away children on an education, health and care plan, in particular, on the basis that schools could not safely look after them? I am already hearing complaints from parents that their children who are entitled to attend are being placed on waiting lists.