Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:25 am on 4th February 2021.

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Photo of Jacob Rees-Mogg Jacob Rees-Mogg Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons 11:25 am, 4th February 2021

I am very grateful to my hon. Friend for paying tribute to the Ousedale sixth form and St Paul’s Catholic School in his constituency. That is one way, and an important way, of recognising the contribution that people are making during the current pandemic in the education system.

We will return to face-to-face learning as soon as we possibly can, which the Government hope will start from Monday 8 March. However, before we increase attendance, we need to be confident that doing so will not increase the pressure on the NHS—not because schools and colleges are no longer safe, but because that may increase the level of contact all of us have with other households. While we are seeing signs of things starting to move in the right direction, case rates remain high across the country and the NHS is still under immense pressure, so it is too early to set out a precise timetable, but I think everybody wishes to see schools reopen as soon as it is safe to do so.