To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government on the potential to the use civic buildings as venues for educational capacity during the covid-19 outbreak.
As part of national social distancing measures to limit the spread of COVID-19, we have had to limit the numbers of children and young people attending schools to ensure that pupils and staff attending could do so safely. Scientific advice indicates that a phased return that limits the number of children in education settings and how much they mix with each other will help to control the rate of transmission.
Additionally, to reduce social contact, the Government has required by law certain businesses and venues to close to members of the public – with some legal exceptions. Details of these requirements are available on GOV.UK: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/further-businesses-and-premises-to-close/further-businesses-and-premises-to-close-guidance.
Therefore, it is not possible at this time for schools to use these venues.
These are rapidly developing circumstances; we continue to keep the situation under review.
We want to get all children and young people back into education as soon as the scientific advice allows because it is the best place for them to learn, and because we know how important it is for their mental wellbeing to have social interactions with their peers, carers and teachers. We are working to bring all children and young people back into education from September.