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 Gavin Williamson Gavin Williamson The Secretary of State for Education 1:22 pm, 6th January 2021

My hon. Friend is absolutely right to point out that children on an EHC plan are entitled to and should be allowed into school and receive the care and support that school provides to those incredibly important children, so I absolutely, categorically make that totally clear to all schools and all colleges as well. I would like to see schools open tomorrow, as he will know. I never want to see schools in a position where they are not able to welcome children, but we have had to take this incredibly difficult decision. I want to see all schools opening on 22 February, but we obviously do have to take into account the scientific and health advice. Certainly, from a Department and a schooling point of view, every one of us is working towards welcoming all children back on 22 February, but we obviously continue to have to listen to the advice of both the scientific and public health community as to how we continue to beat this virus.