Coronavirus in Leeds: All schools to close on Friday except to children of key workers

Schools in England will close from Friday until further notice for all pupils except children of key workers and the most vulnerable, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has said.

Wednesday, 18th March 2020, 5:38 pm
Updated Wednesday, 18th March 2020, 5:40 pm

Mr Williamson 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 to those of key workers and where children who are most vulnerable."

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Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has confirmed all schools will shut on Friday (Photo: PA Wire)

Prime Minister Boris Johnson added that exams will not take place as planned in May and June after the announcement.

At least 22 primary and secondary schools in Leeds have already been hit by closures today due to coronvairus concerns or staff needing to self-isolate.

Mr Williamson added: "I know the situation has become increasingly challenging.

"I've said before that if the science and the advice changed, such that keeping schools open would no longer be in the best interest of children and teachers, that we would act - we are now at that stage."

Mr Williamson said the Government is "expecting" early years providers, sixth forms and further education colleges to do the same.