The education secretary, Gavin Williamson has stated his apology to the nation’s pupils after revealing there is no set date to reopen schools. According to Williamson, the government’s five tests to show that the coronavirus is declining must be met before schools can re-open.
Mr Williamson noted the coronavirus pandemic has stirred up a lot of questions in the minds of people, “But I can’t give you a date. Because before we do, we need to meet five tests.”
First minister, Dominic Raab, said the five tests include protecting the NHS’s ability to cope, seeing the daily death rates come down, and having reliable data that shows the rate of infection is decreasing to manageable levels.
While addressing the daily Downing Street press briefing, Mr Williamson said: “People are anxious to know when we’re going to relax restrictions when schools are likely to be fully back and open again.
“Of course, I want nothing more than to see schools back, get them back to normal, make sure the children are sat around, learning, and experiencing the joy of being at school.
In a direct address to England’s schoolchildren, Mr Williamson added: “To any young people watching, I wanted to say to you how sorry I am that you’ve had your education disrupted in this way.
“I know how hard it must be, and I’d like to thank you for making the adjustments that you’ve had to make.
“I know you will be missing your friends, your teachers, your lessons.
“I want you to know that you are such an important part of this fight too, and I cannot thank you enough for all that you are doing.”
This follows a previous announcement from the minister who said disadvantaged children from across the country would receive free laptops and tablets to help them learn from home during the lockdown.
Although the plan has been slammed by critics who claimed the measure does not go far enough, with a number of children anticipated to have fallen into vulnerability as a result of the virus.