05:46PM, Wednesday 18 March 2020
All schools will close at the end of this week in response to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
Education Secretary MP Gavin Williamson announced the new measures in the House of Commons shortly after 5.15pm.
He said: “It is clear that schools are increasingly finding it difficult to continue as normal as illness and self-isolation impact on staffing levels and pupil attendance.
“I want to provide parents, students and staff with the certainty that they need.
“After schools shut their gates on Friday afternoon, they will remain closed until further notice.”
Schools will remain open to children whose parents or carers are key workers in roles including NHS staff, police and delivery drivers.
Vulnerable children with educational health and care plans can still also attend.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson told a press conference shortly after that exams will be cancelled in May and June.
He added: “We need health workers who are also parents to keep going into work, from police officers who are keeping us safe to supermarket delivery drivers and social care workers who look after the elderly.”
A number of secondary schools in Maidenhead and Slough had already partially closed ahead of the Government’s announcement.
Top Ten Articles
Members of staff at Wexham Park Hospital have tested positive for coronavirus, and the elderly care ward affected has been closed to new admissions for two weeks.