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All schools across Cornwall to close from Friday

All schools across Cornwall to close from Friday

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 5:20pm 18th March 2020. (Updated at 6:25am 19th March 2020)

All schools across Cornwall will close from Friday amid the spread of coronavirus across the UK.

The government has made the announcement in a press conference on Wednesday afternoon.

Boris Johnson says when schools in the UK close their gates on Friday afternoon they will remain shut 'until further notice'.

Children of key workers and the most vulnerable children may still attend, it is thought.

Examples of key workers include NHS staff, police and delivery drivers.

The PM said he needed health workers and other key people to still go to work and needed schools to make provisions for the children of those people.

Exams in May and June have been scrapped but the Prime Minister said he will make sure students get the grades they deserve.

The Education Secretary told MPs: "I want to provide parents, students and staff with the certainty they need.

"After schools shut their gates on Friday afternoon, they will remain closed until further notice.

"This will be for all children, except for those of key workers and children who are most vulnerable.

"The scientific advice shows that the settings are safe for this small number of children attending, but asking others to stay will just go towards helping us slow the spread of this virus."

Gavin Williamson, Education Secretary

Until now, Mr Johnson's government had resisted calls to close schools, because NHS workers would be among those who may need to stay home and look after their children.

Teachers, head teachers and unions had warned that many schools are so short-staffed that they are struggling to remain open.

"It is better for this to take place in an ordered way than the chaotic pattern of closures that was developing.

"We also welcome the clarity that SATs, GCSE, AS- and A-Level exams are to be cancelled.

"This offers some degree of reassurance to teachers, their students and parents.

"We note that, at this time of emergency, the government has decided that teacher assessment is indeed a good method of giving reliable information about young people's progress and achievements.

"We will return to that when this crisis is over.

"Now, more than anything else the government needs to concentrate on ensuring that children in food poverty are fed properly - these children are not just those on free school meals."

Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the National Education Union

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