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Classes could finish for Christmas days ahead of schedule as Covid-19 infections soar 

Teaching unions push breaking schools up early for Christmas over fears of coronavirus

  • Heads in England have already been granted the option of closing on Thursday
  • However some have decided to close even earlier amid a rise in cases 
  • Unions are pressing for an immediate switch to online learning in virus hotspots

Schools are on the brink of shutting early for Christmas after a surge in coronavirus infections.

Heads have already been granted the option of closing on Thursday, a day earlier than usual.

But unions are pressing for an immediate switch to online learning in virus hotspots.

Schools in one south London borough were last night asked to close after a rise in Covid-19 cases.

Greenwich council leader Danny Thorpe admitted this was against wishes of the Department for Education. 

But he said: ‘I cannot in all good conscience stand by while the numbers are doubling so quickly.’

Unions have questioned the sense in keeping pupils in class in areas where Covid testing blitzes are being carried out such as London, Kent and Essex.

Schools in England are on the brink of shutting early for Christmas after a surge in coronavirus infections. The UK recorded 18,447 new coronavirus cases on Sunday

The UK recorded 144 deaths from coronavirus on Sunday, a drop from figures seen in previous days

The UK recorded 144 deaths from coronavirus on Sunday, a drop from figures seen in previous days

They also asked why extra testing was not being done in other regions, suggesting it highlighted a ‘North-South divide’. 

The leaders of the NAHT and ASCL have written to Education Secretary Gavin Williamson.

They said: ‘We would strongly suggest in relation to the mass testing in London, Kent and Essex, that the Government considers immediately moving secondary schools and colleges to remote learning while this takes place.’

Eton College announced last week its pupils would be working from home for the week after a significant Covid outbreak.

However, the DfE told state secondaries not to follow suit except in dire circumstances.

It said keeping schools open was a national priority until the end of the term. 

In Wales, secondaries will move to online learning from Monday following advice from its chief medical officer that the situation was ‘deteriorating’.

Eton College announced last week its pupils would be working from home for the week after a significant Covid outbreak [File photo]

Eton College announced last week its pupils would be working from home for the week after a significant Covid outbreak [File photo]

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk