Secondary schools & colleges to shut in Wales from tomorrow to stop Covid spread & calls for London to follow suit

SECONDARY schools & colleges will close in Wales from tomorrow to stop the Covid spread, it was announced today, and there were calls for London to follow suit.

Classes for pupils ages 11 and above will move to online learning from Monday as part of a national effort to crack down on coronavirus before Christmas.

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Education minister Kirsty Williams warned that it was not "an early Christmas present" for kids and they should carry on their education as normally as possible.

Schools were closed nationwide in March during the first wave of coronavirus – including primary schools.

And as it was warned that London could go into Tier 3 as early as next week, one Tory MP is said to have warned ministers that schools should shut in the capital to crack down on cases.

Health Minister Helen Whately is reported to have to told the MP she will "take it away" and look into it.

Boris Johnson has always stressed he will try to never shut schools across England again, saying too much learning time had been lost, which was vital for kids.

Ms Williams said today the shutdown was to combat the growing numbers of people going into hospital.

It comes after advice from the Chief Medical Officer that more needed to be done to combat the virus.

He demanded online learning "as soon as is practicable".

But recognised that it was difficult for primary school kids and those at special schools to learn online, so they will remain open.

The Welsh First Minister, Mark Drakeford, has warned of more Covid restrictions to crack down on the virus, just weeks after their fire-break ended there.

Ms Williams said today: "The virus is putting our health service under significant and sustained pressure and it is important we all make a contribution to reduce its transmission.

“I can therefore confirm that a move to online learning should be implemented for secondary school pupils and college students from Monday next week.

“Having spoken to local education leaders, I am confident that schools and colleges have online learning provision in place.

“This will also be important in ensuring that students are at home during this time, learning and staying safe.

“Critically, and this is very important, children should be at home."

She added: “This is not an early Christmas holiday, please do everything you can to minimise your contact with others.”

“The education family in Wales has pulled together so many times this year to make a real difference to the course of this virus and ultimately to save lives and I know we can do the same again.

“Together we will keep Wales safe.”

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