Close schools in Tier 4 areas

This petition is scheduled to be debated on 15 Mar 2021

Schools can be a breeding ground for the spread of coronavirus. Children are mingling at schools and returning to families who are potentially vulnerable, keeping rates high. It's only been since schools opened that infection rates have been high in Kent, and keeping them open may keep it high.

194,658 Signatures

Status: Open
Opened: 21 Dec 2020, 11:10 a.m.
Last 24 hours signatures : 10
Estimated Final Signatures: 447,721

Daily Rank: #405 • Weekly Rank: #349 • Total Rank: #12


This content was generated for your convenience by Parallel Parliament and does not form part of the official record.
Recent Documents related to Close schools in Tier 4 areas

1. COVID-19 Winter Plan
23/11/2020 - Cabinet Office
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Found: This publication is licensed under the terms of the Open Government Licence v3.0 except where otherwise

2. COVID-19 Winter Plan
23/11/2020 - Cabinet Office
- View source

Found: This publication is licensed under the terms of the Open Government Licence v3.0 except where otherwise

3. SARS-CoV-2 infection and transmission in educational settings
23/08/2020 - Public Health England (PHE)
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Found: 1 SARS -CoV -2 infection and transmission in educational settings : cross -sectional analysis of

4. JCHR report on COVID-19 human rights implications: government response
14/12/2020 - Department of Health and Social Care
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Found: This publication is licensed under the terms of the Open Government Licence v3.0 except where otherwise

5. Our plan to rebuild: The UK Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy
12/05/2020 - Cabinet Office
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Found: publication is licensed under the terms of the Open Government Licence v3.0 except where otherwise

Latest Documents
Recent Speeches related to Close schools in Tier 4 areas

1. Covid-19 Update
14/09/2020 - Lords Chamber

1: I would like to make a further Statement on coronavirus. We have done much as a nation to get this virus - Speech Link
2: term and save lives, and I vow that we will not keep these rules in place for any longer than we have - Speech Link
3: authorities to make greater use of their powers to close venues that are breaking rules and pose a risk to - Speech Link
4: much as possible, is to protect keeping schools and businesses open, while controlling the virus. The - Speech Link
5: majority of people get their tests rapidly and close to home. The average distance travelled to a test - Speech Link
6: people who need them. If you have symptoms of coronavirus or are asked by a clinician or local authority - Speech Link
7: those with a negative result; workplaces could be opened up to all those who test negative that morning; - Speech Link
8: and nose if you are in an enclosed space and in close contact with people you do not normally meet; space: - Speech Link

2. Public Health: Coronavirus Regulations
13/10/2020 - Commons Chamber

1: beg to move,That the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Local Covid-19 Alert Level) (Medium) (England) - Speech Link
2: health:That the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Local Covid-19 Alert Level) (High) (England) Regulations 2020 - Speech Link
3: tonight on national measures to slow the spread of coronavirus. This pandemic remains a formidable threat - Speech Link

3. Covid-19 Update
30/12/2020 - Commons Chamber

1: been able to take since this pandemic began. It is almost exactly a year since we first heard about - Speech Link
2: the House this afternoon to move further areas into tiers 3 and 4. As he says, almost the whole of England - Speech Link

4. Public Health
30/12/2020 - Commons Chamber

1: to move, That the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Self-Isolation and Linked Households) - Speech Link
2: motions: That the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (All Tiers) (England) (Amendment) - Speech Link
3: regulations were amended to move some local authority areas between tiers. Those changes came into force on - Speech Link
4: is where the sense of disappointment lies. Most families are more than capable of making the right decisions - Speech Link

5. Education: Return in January
30/12/2020 - Commons Chamber

1: make a statement regarding our plans for bringing children back to school this academic term. Dealing - Speech Link

6. Covid-19 Update
15/12/2020 - Lords Chamber

1: Speaker, I would like to make a Statement on coronavirus. We are nearing the end of such a tough year - Speech Link
2: by 14% in the last week. As before, the rise and spread are not even across the country. We are seeing - Speech Link
3: identified a new variant of coronavirus, which may be associated with the faster spread in the south-east of - Speech Link
4: sharp exponential rises in the virus across London, Kent, parts of Essex and Hertfordshire. We do not know - Speech Link
5: loved ones. Hospitals across the capital, Essex and Kent are already under pressure. We know that the doubling - Speech Link

7. Public Health
06/10/2020 - Commons Chamber

1: context to this debate. The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020—the - Speech Link
2: have seen, things can move very quickly with the infection rate and the consequences of the pandemic.The - Speech Link
3: it again: what is the rationale for including children under the age of those who have to wear masks - Speech Link
4: However, the evidence indicated that the covid-19 infection rate was rising across the country. It was therefore - Speech Link

8. Covid-19
14/12/2020 - Commons Chamber

1: while bearing the current situation in mind. Coronavirus is very much with us. This past week, the average - Speech Link

9. Covid-19 Update
17/12/2020 - Commons Chamber

1: enter the coldest months, we must be vigilant and keep this virus under control. Yesterday, 25,161 cases - Speech Link

10. Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Obligations of Hospitality Undertakings) (England) Regulations 2020
09/10/2020 - Lords Chamber

1: pieces of guidance, including five covering DCMS areas. These guides were not written in a Whitehall vacuum - Speech Link
2: Labour supports public health measures to reduce the spread of Covid-19, but I argue in this amendment that - Speech Link

Latest Speeches
Recent Questions related to Close schools in Tier 4 areas
Latest Questions

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This Christmas I am apart from all of my family for the first time. My younger siblings have no idea why I won't be there, and it's heartbreaking. All I want to do is go home and see my family, and the sooner I can do that the better. Currently I see no way of this happening unless schools close for at least two weeks, but preferably more. Especially with this new strain of the virus, we need to be making the move to online schooling and actually keep people safe.


Top 50 Constituencies by Number of Signatures

58,783 signatures - 30.0% of total

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Government Response

The Government has asked schools and Further Education colleges to restrict attendance from 5 January 2020 for most pupils and students. Early years settings will remain open to all.


Being at school or college is vital for children’s and young people’s education and for their wellbeing. However, in light of the rapid growth in rates across the country and intense pressure on the NHS, the Government has asked schools and Further Education (FE) colleges to restrict attendance from 5 January 2020 until at least February half term for most pupils and students. Early years settings will remain open to all.

On 7 January, the Department for Education (DfE) published updated guidance for schools:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_source=08720782-d5c2-423a-90bf-6450e8ad7640&utm_content=daily.

During this period of national lockdown, schools, alternative provision (AP), special schools, colleges and wraparound childcare and other out-of-school activities for children should allow only vulnerable children and young people and the children of critical workers to attend (recognising that the characteristics of the cohorts in special schools and alternative provision will mean these settings continue to offer face to face provision for all pupils, where appropriate). All other pupils and students should not attend and should receive remote education until February half term.

Early years provision should continue to remain open and should continue to allow all children to attend full time or their usual timetable hours. Only vulnerable children and children of critical workers should attend on-site reception classes. This is the default position for all areas irrespective of national lockdown restrictions.

Early years settings have been open to all children since 1 June 2020 and there is no evidence that the early years sector has contributed to a significant rise in virus cases within the community. Early modelling evidence from SAGE showed that early years provision had a smaller relative impact on transmission rate when modelled with both primary schools and secondary schools.

We have asked schools to limit attendance during the lockdown not because they are unsafe, but because the government is taking every possible measure to reduce overall social contacts, bring down cases in the community and protect the NHS.

We have resisted restrictions on attendance at schools since the first lockdown and keeping education open has been a national priority. In the face of the rapidly rising numbers of cases across the country and intense pressure on the NHS, we now need to use every lever at our disposal to reduce all our social contacts wherever possible.

For vulnerable children and young people and the children of critical workers, who should still attend school or college, as they did in March to July, and their teachers, the system of protective measures being implemented means that any risks are well managed and controlled.

We are responding to the intense pressure on the NHS, but that pressure is not driven by children. We are not seeing significant pressure from coronavirus (COVID-19) in paediatrics across the UK. The new variant appears to affect all ages but we have not seen any changes in the severity of the disease among any age groups, including children and young people. The majority of children and young people have no symptoms or very mild illness only. As cases in the community rise there will be an increase in the number of children we see with coronavirus (COVID-19), but only very rarely will they require admission to hospital.

Once the national lockdown is lifted, if required, the education contingency framework can once again be applied where and when necessary. The framework sets out how restrictions on education would work in the rare circumstances they are needed.

Any restrictions on education would only be as a last resort and may only be initiated following a ministerial decision.

We know that receiving face-to-face education is best for children’s mental health and for their educational achievement. We will continue to review the restrictions on schools, colleges and universities and will ensure that children and young people return to face-to-face education as soon as possible.

Department for Education