All schools across Wiltshire will close on Friday, two weeks before the Easter Half Term – and will remain closed until further notice, the Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has announced.
Schools were due to close for the two-week half-term break at the end of Friday 3rd April. Now, almost all children will finish school at the end of the day on Friday 20th March – effectively introducing the half-term holiday early and extending it from two weeks to an indefinite period.
Children of ‘key workers’ and the most vulnerable will still be able to attend school. However, it is unknown when the vast majority of children will return to classrooms and therefore families should prepare for long-term disruption. Children should not be left with older grandparents or older relatives.
The Prime Minister has not been able to say how long the school closures will last, but that the Government will try and keep the closures to an absolute minimum.
Nurseries, independent schools and private schools are being asked to follow state schools by closing their doors.
Exams will not take place as planned in May and June, but the Government will ensure children get the qualifications they deserve. It is unclear what exactly this means.
The move is likely to have an impact on families across the county, especially those on a low income with extra childcare and meal costs to meet. However, meal vouchers will be made available for those eligible for free school meals.
It is thought that students will be asked to carry out online learning from home, although it is unclear how this will be enforced.
The definition of ‘key workers’ is to be clarified later on today.
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