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

I assure my hon. Friend that at every stage we will go above and beyond to keep education settings open. The Prime Minister has many times outlined the Government’s commitment to and priority for education so, if we can, we will keep a sector of the education system open, because not only do the children who are in accrue enormous benefits—whether it is in a nursery, an early years setting, or a classroom in a primary or secondary school—but it is also incredibly important for parents and families, who often rely on those settings and schools to support them. When the advice came through—just to reiterate it—that the early evidence from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies showed that early years provision had a much smaller relative impact on transmission rates than primary schools, which, again, have a much lower relative transmission impact than secondary schools, we felt that that was the right thing to do. Yes, it is about supporting the children, but it is also about supporting the families.