16th Jan, 2021

'Government should have closed nurseries as well as schools' - Coventry MP

COVENTRY South MP Zarah Sultana has criticised the Government for not closing all nurseries and pre-schools for all children, except for those of key workers and vulnerable pupils.

It came as Prime Minister Boris Johnson shut all schools on Monday as part of a third England-wide lockdown.

He said the closure would be until at least after February half-term and admitted exams could not take place this year as planned.

Ms Sultana believes shutting nurseries in the same way as schools is the best way of stopping the spread of the virus. She also claimed that, despite the Government awarding a contract worth close to £100million to supply laptops to disadvantaged pupils, there were still 1.8million children who did not have access to the technology they needed.

Ms Sultana and Coventry North West MP Taiwo Owatemi were among the Members of Parliament calling for schools to be shut prior to the Government’s announcement.

Ms Owatemi, in a letter to Secretary of State for Education Gavin Williamson, said although secondary school age children were rarely hospitalised by the virus they were one of the groups most at risk of spreading Covid-19.

She also asked for schools to be given the resources they needed to give pupils the ensure pupils had a high standard of learning during the lockdown.

“Only by giving schools the support they require can we minimise the impact of closures, giving headteachers the confidence they need to act and for the virus to finally be brought under control.”

Speaking afterwards she added: “The virus has already taken so much, the Government must not fail in their duty and take away the next generation’s education too.”

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