It was announced last night that all primary and secondary schools and colleges would close for at least six weeks until February half-term to all pupils except the children of frontline workers and vulnerable children. Early years settings, including nurseries and childminders, special schools and alternative education providers will remain open to all pupils, Johnson said.

  • The Department for Education has confirmed it will go ahead with previously announced plans to increase the number of free laptops and 4G routers made available to disadvantaged children. It said it aimed to provide one million devices by the end of the current academic year having handed out 560,000 as of December.
  • The government-funded National Tutoring Programme, aimed at helping the most disadvantaged children impacted by the pandemic catch-up with peers, has said it will continue to provide tutoring remotely – it delivered support to 62,000 pupils last term.
  • Meanwhile, the government has admitted that GCSE, AS and A level exams are “unlikely” to go ahead as planned this year. “Public exams and vocational assessments scheduled to take place in January will go ahead as planned,” Johnson said.
  • University students who left campus over the Christmas break may not be able to return until mid-February, early government guidance states, with most tuition being carried out online. A handful of courses including social care, medicine and education will continue face-to-face teaching.

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