Closure of Primary Schools in Kingston
Following the government’s decision to review the contingency arrangements for London primary schools, all primary schools in Kingston will now remain closed for most pupils.
We welcome the government’s decision tonight to review the contingency arrangements for primary schools and to treat all London boroughs consistently. It never made sense that neighbouring boroughs were being instructed to have different arrangements despite having similar rates of infection.
We expressed our concern about the government’s original decision to instruct 10 boroughs, including Kingston, to reopen, while other London boroughs, some with lower rates, were being told to remain closed. We were not given a satisfactory explanation of how this decision was made. Yesterday, Kingston Council co-signed a letter to Gavin Wiliamson asking for a formal review of that decision.
Cllr Caroline Kerr, leader of Kingston Council, says:
‘We are dismayed at the way the government has handled this situation and recognise that this has caused a great deal of worry for parents and carers, children, and for teachers and school staff in our borough’.
All primary schools in Kingston will now have a delayed start to the term. Only the children of critical workers and children who are defined as vulnerable will attend school for face-to-face learning next week.
We understand that it is extremely difficult for schools and families to make arrangements for this change in policy so late in the day. However, we are confident that our schools, as always, will do everything they can to support Kingston’s children.
The Council, through its school advisory teams in Achieving for Children, will continue to support headteachers and other school staff as they plan for a very different start to the new term.