Schools closed and exams dropped

The LGA has praised the work of school leaders and councils in switching overnight to remote learning for pupils, after the latest lockdown was announced on 4 January.

All schools and colleges in England are now closed, except to vulnerable youngsters and the children of key workers, until at least the February half-term, in response to rising COVID-19 infection rates and hospital admissions. 

Writing on Twitter, LGA Chief Executive Mark Lloyd said: “School leaders – supported by teams in councils – moved mountains in just 12 hours overnight to switch on remote learning and make provision in schools for vulnerable children and those of critical workers.

“It’s a massive and immediate switch that deserves recognition and praise.”

Announcing the new lockdown measures and school closures, Prime Minister Boris Johnson also suggested that GCSE and A Level exams will not take place in England this summer. Exams watchdog Ofqual will make “alternative arrangements” for delivering results.

In Wales, which has been subject to ‘stay at home’ lockdown restrictions since 20 December, schools and colleges will stay closed to most pupils until the February half term unless there is a significant fall in COVID-19 cases.

Welsh minsters made the decision to scrap the 2021 exams last year, with students to have their GCSE, AS and A Level grades based on classroom assessments.

Two-thirds of COVID-19 costs faced by schools in England are not being met by government support, according the Education Policy Institute think tank. The LGA has called for the Government’s COVID-19 workforce fund, which helps with staff costs, to be extended into this year.


Provisional finance settlement published

Regulatory services ‘under pressure’ from EU transition